It seems you can’t open a newspaper or turn on the TV from one week to the next without seeing a report on a ‘crackdown’ or ‘banning’ woodburners.
This is all usually related to the Government’s Clean Air Strategy 2018, a draft copy of which can be found here.
Thumbing (or scrolling) through the document, it’s hard to find anything to substantiate these reports. And there’s a good reason for that – there isn’t any.
That’s because, quite frankly, no politician in their right mind would ban woodburners. Apart from the fact that it’s a massive vote-loser, it’s almost impossible to police.
What is likely to happen is that the sale of bituminous housecoal is likely to end soon. It’s widely seen as a dirty, polluting fuel and unlikely to be missed by many (although I’m one of them actually!)
In terms of stoves themselves, it’s apparent that tougher standards will be brought in so that only the most efficient appliances can be sold. This is unlikely to be retrospective, so your current appliance is probably safe.
There are tentative steps towards looking at ‘no burn’ days in areas where pollution levels go quite high. This is most likely to be in busy cities and quite specific to certain areas. How these will be enacted or enforced remains to be seen.
As a sweep, perhaps the best thing about the strategy is that it recognises the role of chimney sweeping to help cut pollution. It also recognises the Burnright campaign, something I helped launch and a useful resource in helping people understand how to work their appliances properly.
This is important not just for a general environmental point of view, but it makes good sense from a personal economic and safety perspective. Learning how to use your appliance properly will save you money and reduce your risk of having a devastating chimney fire.
So, for the time being at least, forget about the scare stories of banning woodburners, and instead get clued up on how to get the very best out of them!
Mr Soot Chimney Sweep is a HETAS Approved Sweep, and member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, offering a professional and friendly chimney sweep and stove service in Wigan, Stockport, Southport, Ormskirk, Chorley and surrounding areas. Book Mr Soot online or call 0800 0541154.