Analysis reveals that wooden stoves are a costlier technique to warmth properties than fuel boilers or warmth pumps.
A examine discovered that in addition to inflicting important well being and environmental dangers to the occupants and their neighbours, the price of heating a house utilizing a wooden range relatively than a fuel boiler will increase by as much as 15%.
Rachel Pidgeon, of the charity Influence on City Well being, which focuses on well being inequalities in cities and which funded the examine, mentioned air air pollution from wooden burning within the UK has doubled over the previous decade, with critical penalties for individuals’s well being.
“This analysis dispels the parable that burning wooden is a less expensive vitality various, whereas highlighting the poisonous impression it has on the air we breathe,” she mentioned. “It can be crucial for city communities to grasp the connection between burning and the air air pollution it causes.”
There was a 40% improve in gross sales of wood-burning stoves between 2021 and 2022. Analysis reveals that prosperous individuals, who’re interested in the aesthetic enchantment of fireside, are driving this improve.
Nonetheless, a rising physique of proof is highlighting the environmental and well being injury triggered, with scientists saying that individuals who burn wooden are exposing themselves – and their neighborhoods – to excessive ranges of probably the most harmful small particle air pollution, PM2.5, which might result in critical injury. It makes its approach deep into the physique, inflicting a variety of significant well being issues together with coronary heart illness, strokes, bronchial asthma and most cancers.
Final yr, a examine by Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, discovered that even “eco-design” wood-burning stoves produce air air pollution 450 instances extra poisonous than fuel central heating, whereas older stoves, now banned on the market, It produces 3700 polluting gases. Extra instances.
One other examine discovered that burning wooden in properties produces extra small particulate air pollution than any highway site visitors within the UK.
The most recent analysis, carried out by the World City Well being Influence Motion Plan, discovered that the notion among the many public was typically that wooden stoves at the very least offered a less expensive supply of vitality.
Nonetheless, the examine discovered that this was solely true when the wooden was obtained without cost. Specialists say that scrap wooden and lumber that has not been dried or dried correctly are extra poisonous and very dangerous to the well being of those that burn them, in addition to their neighbors.
Lucy Anderson, head of analysis at World Motion Plan, mentioned: “Pressures on family funds could tempt extra individuals in direction of wooden burning as a result of they suppose it’s cheaper. However our new analysis reveals that wooden burning is persistently costlier than different types of heating within the UK.
The examine discovered that when a family used a newly put in Defra-approved wooden range for 20% extra warmth, the annual value, together with set up, was between £2,028 and £2,204 – 24% greater than operating a fuel boiler. Typical. The price rises to virtually 50% costlier when a family makes use of newly put in wooden stoves for 80% of the warmth.
Even in circumstances the place a wooden range was already put in and 80% of the warmth was offered by a fuel boiler, the annual prices have been nonetheless 15% greater than the price of fuel. In all eventualities, wooden stoves have been costlier than air supply warmth pumps.
As winter approaches, a variety of organizations, together with the World Motion Plan, City Well being Influence, and Moms for Lung, are calling for better consciousness of the financial, environmental and well being prices of burning wooden.
Jemima Hartshorne, founder and director of Mums for Lungs, mentioned: “Each autumn and winter, individuals in cities and cities are uncovered to excessive ranges of poisonous fumes from burning wooden. She mentioned that kids are sometimes probably the most affected. “It can be crucial that folks acknowledge the robust connection between wooden burning and the air air pollution it causes, which has lasting and devastating results on individuals’s lives.”
Andy Hill, Chair of the Range Trade Alliance, mentioned: “Retaining heat is prime to human well being and wellbeing. When buying wooden gasoline in bulk, selecting wooden gasoline means shoppers have a hard and fast gasoline value at some point of the heating season. A contemporary range, along with being Extremely environment friendly, low emission, dependable and utterly off-grid technique to warmth our properties, one thing an air supply warmth pump and plenty of fuel boilers can not do.At a time when vitality safety is extra vital than ever, the peace of thoughts this offers Priceless.