Stay guilt-free while keeping warm

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Nippy mornings and chilly winter evenings means many people from across the district will be firing up their wood-burning stoves or start to enjoy an open fire in the coming weeks.

Canterbury City Council is calling on residents lucky enough to keep warm and toastie in this way to follow some simple steps to keep the district’s air as clean as possible.

They include:

  • Buying Ready To Burn fuel – just look for the logo
  • Letting wet or unseasoned wood, often sold in nets, dry out properly for two years before you burn it. Wet wood contains moisture which creates smoke and harmful particulates when burned. Dry wood contains 20% or less moisture.
  • Using smokeless fuels rather than house coal because it produces more heat but less carbon
  • Not burning waste wood like old furniture or household rubbish because they can produce toxic fumes
  • Use an Ecodesign Ready stove which can reduce particulate emissions by up to 80% compared to an old stove
  • Getting your stove serviced regularly because it will work more efficiently
  • Getting your chimney swept twice a year
  • Burning less fuel especially if your house is already warm enough

Kelly Haynes, Air Quality Officer at Canterbury City Council said: “At this time of year, it is natural for people to want to be as snug and cosy as they can and many people turn to more traditional methods of heating their homes.

“Smoke from chimneys can have a negative effect on air quality and can cause breathing problems.

“If they follow these simple steps, they can kill the chill and still be guilt free while saving money.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has produced a practical guide for the owners of open fires and wood-burning stoves. 

Promoting best practice around the use of wood-burning stoves and open fires forms part of the council’s Air Quality Action Plan 2018-2023, which includes a raft of measures designed to improve air quality throughout the district.