Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring gas, however it is also emitted at great levels by human activity. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas that enhances the effects of global warming.
We are all becoming more aware of the way in which we live is affecting our planet, from plastic waste affecting our oceans to greenhouse gas emissions leading to global warming. Whilst we cannot completely stop CO2 emissions going into the atmosphere, we can certainly look for ways we can reduce our carbon footprint.
In this guide, we are going to talk about how you can heat your home with solid fuel, in a more environmentally friendly manner.
Prior to the Clean Air Act of 1956 and 1968, the UK mainly used traditional fossil fuels, including bituminous coal to heat the home. Coal emits the highest amount of CO2 compared with all other fossil fuels. The Clean Air Acts mentioned above were introduced to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions produced through domestic burning. Inline with the governments clean air targets for the UK, a clean air act is going to be introduced which includes the intention to ban the use (and sale) of house coal altogether.
Since the introduction of the Clean Air Acts of 1956 and 1968, many coal producers such as Hargreaves, CPL and Oxbow have produced alternative coal products known as smokeless fuels. Smokeless fuels are a manufactured product that are developed with the intention of being better for the environment, and offering better burning qualities (such as longer burn time, ease of use and less mess).
Smokeless fuels are tested by HETAS on behalf of DEFRA, and if they meet the quality standards, they are then listed on DEFRA’s website as an authorised fuel. The authorised fuel list is a way in which all consumers can check whether they are burning a smokeless fuel.
Another traditional method of heating one’s home is to use firewood. Kiln dried firewood has grown in popularity in comparison to wet or seasoned logs. Mainly due to the lower smoke output and higher heat kick out. Burning wet firewood means that the fuel will burn at a lower temperature and result in higher levels of emissions including; dioxins, furans, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, particles and nitrogen oxides.
So which fuels are best for lowering your carbon footprint?
In line with the proposed new clean air act, set out by the government, traditional house coal is likely to be banned in the coming years. To reduce your carbon footprint, we would recommend switching your traditional house coal to an authorised smokeless fuel. Be sure to check that you fuel is listed on the DEFRA website.
We stock a range of smokeless fuels, including Newheat, Supertherm and Newburn. Smokeless fuels have different burning qualities depending on their make-up. Newheat for example offers a real high heat output, the ability to burn overnight, and little ash residue (mess) to clean up after using. On top of that, it reduces the amount of carbon dioxide you emit into the atmosphere when compared to traditional house coal.
Another way you can reduce your carbon footprint is by making the switch from wet logs to kiln dried logs. As we discussed earlier, wet logs emit a range of pollutants into the atmosphere, making the switch to kiln dried firewood not only reduces these pollutants, but you should find that the firewood is much easier to light, gives you a higher heat output and does not spit and smoke as much. Another important thing to note when talking about the use of firewood for burning is to buy from a supplier that sources their firewood responsibly.
We stock a range of different log species, in different sizes and all of our firewood is FSC certified. The Forestry Stewardship Commission (FSC) promotes the responsible management of our forests around the world.
Finally, another fuel type that will go a long way to reducing your carbon footprint is biomass fuel. Fitzpatrick Fuels premium biomass wood pellets are registered on the Biomass Suppliers List (BSL), and are made by an ENPlus A1 producer, meaning they go through strict quality testing measures. What’s more, they are a sustainable and renewable fuel.
We hope this guide gives you the tools to reduce the emissions that you produce from heating your home, the main thing to remember when selecting your fuels is that they are clean, dry and come from a responsible source.
Below is a list of products that offer a more environmentally friendly way of heating your home this winter:
Kiln Dried Logs: