Author Topic: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?  (Read 1029 times)

meddyg

  • 'You'll have had your tea?'
Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« on: January 17, 2021, 08:32:12 am »
Quite a few of the papers picked up on this report in 'Atmosphere'
[https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4433/11/12/1326/htm]
relating that a rise particulate matter in the room from woodburning stove was increased
PM 2.5 ( particulate matter 2.5nm) and PM 1 nm ( human hair thickness) by 195% and 225%.

I quite like to cosy up to the woodburning stove twice a week, especially if frosty. Usually in the mornings with porridge and coffee. And when I search to see if we've discussed this before, I find folk boasting about their chainsaws (!) so wonder if you've all given up your hearth.

The authors noted it's worse when you open the door ( and so, practical note; stuff in as big a log as you can and don't open till you need to). They admit that sitting in front of an open fire is worse, but haven't mentioned tests in homes with open fires.

I can see a matrimonial ban looming ! They studied 20 homes in Sheffield. What I do know about clinical trials is that number is just not  enough to mean owt, and course there's not an end point. Just the journos concluding; caution with ashtmatics, COPD patients, elderly and infants...

Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2021, 09:21:39 am »
We used to use the woodburning/multifuel stove a lot over the winter, but hardly ever nowadays. I think I've used it 3 times in the last year. The central heating is so much easier to turn on and - importantly - off. It makes it a very expensive toy, given the cost of the last service.

The percentage increases in that report are interesting, and hardly unexpected. The question is "how big is the absolute number"? As far as I can make out, the average PM2.5 inside a Sheffield house where a woodburner is regularly used is around the same as on a street in central London. So yes, something that should be reduced, but not an unusually high level.


Quote
PM 2.5 ( particulate matter 2.5nm) and PM 1 nm ( human hair thickness)
A human hair is around 80,000 nm thick. PM2.5 refers to particles 2.5 µm rather than nm.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2021, 09:36:13 am »
We fired up the stove last night for a cosy evening in front of the telly. We usually use it once or twice a week in this way during the winter months. It’s always been more for the feelgood factor of a real fire than as a primary form of heating.

That report is interesting and mildly concerning but I’m not convinced our stove use constitutes a significant health threat.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2021, 09:37:16 am »
A human hair is around 80,000 nm thick. PM2.5 refers to particles 2.5 µm rather than nm.

Thanks for clarifying that. I was thinking we’d probably notice if there were lots of particles the thickness of hair floating about the room.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Mrs Pingu

  • Who ate all the pies? Me
    • Twitter
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2021, 10:03:55 am »
I saw that article as well, but one of the reasons we got a woodburning stove is due to all the damp issues we had previously in our flat with water coming down the chimney and down the end wall so this was also an attempt to help dry things out. (Also the previous resident had a gas fire in there so the radiator in the lounge is hideously undersized).
So I'm not going to stop using it where we are, but it might make me think twice about getting another when we move house.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
  • Help me!
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2021, 10:26:41 am »
. It’s always been more for the feelgood factor of a real fire than as a primary form of heating.

This. For us.

However, we also feel happier having several different fuels that we can heat with. Particularly with the number of power cuts we seem to get here.
Main central heating is oil (but obviously also dependent on electricity)
Wood burning in two rooms. On which we have occasionally had to boil a kettle.
Gas fire (propane) in dinning room.
Electric fire in my study.

I know that the oil gas and wood will eventually have to go, but probably not in my lifetime. (I'll be 101 in 2050  :D Looking forward to it)
Quote from: Kim
And remember that friends who organise things on Facebook aren't proper friends anyway.

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2021, 10:30:10 am »
We have a bio ethanol fireplace which works really well for the feel good factor and throws out some warmth. 50 Euros of ethanol lasts us a year.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2021, 12:43:52 pm »
I like a good fire as much as anyone.

But as a sufferer of Stupid Lungs™, I'm acutely aware of the shift in air quality while cycling.  In recent years, as you leave the diesel-choked urban areas, you pass through a distinct band of middle-class woodsmoke before reaching the open countryside.  That can't be right.  I've seen what a bonfire a couple of streets over will do to the PM10/PM.25 count in our back garden, so I dread to think what it's like when half the street are at it most days.

Ultimately, we need to stop burning things, but we need to stop burning solid fuel in populated areas the most.

(Having a heat source that doesn't rely on mains electricity does however seem prudent.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

T42

  • *** fool in a hurry
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2021, 01:22:11 pm »
Burning wood has been our main means of heating the house since we got here. We have a fireplace in the kitchen and a BFO traditional stove in the lounge, both of which heat air that is ducted up to the bedrooms. We're not about to get rid of them because we'd have nowt but electric convectors if we did.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Mrs Pingu

  • Who ate all the pies? Me
    • Twitter
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2021, 04:03:54 pm »
I took a look at this report (opens a pdf).
https://www.clean-heat.eu/en/actions/info-material/download/danish-case-study-uk-11.html
I was intrigued to see how much lower the particles from a wood pellet boiler were compared to a stove. 29g vs 150-900 grams (depending on age of stove) of particles per GJ energy.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2021, 04:26:38 pm »
Mrs P, I was wondering if I missed a post about water coming down your chimney - was that hte solution to the dampness? I fear we may have the same problem.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Mrs Pingu

  • Who ate all the pies? Me
    • Twitter
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2021, 05:30:52 pm »
Mrs P, I was wondering if I missed a post about water coming down your chimney - was that hte solution to the dampness? I fear we may have the same problem.

You may remember this thread https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=95115.0 (I see you posted in there about having several problems) and the one preceding it (which I haven't been able to find).
I had water running down the chimney at one point (among other places) before I had all that work done.

Feel free to send me a PM if you want to tell me more :)
 
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2021, 05:37:28 pm »
Ah, yes I remember that now! Will PM shortly.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2021, 05:55:41 pm »
Woodburning?

All the old miner's places hereabouts still have open hearths for coal, and judging by the blue smoke haze that hangs in the valley on a calm winter's evening, along with that smell, they're clearly still well used.

Woodburning is for southerners ;).

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2021, 06:04:38 pm »
In similar vein, in Poland, where there are forests everywhere and one of the largest mining sectors in Europe, what people in villages mostly burn is... paper, plastic, food scraps and whatever else happens to be in their rubbish. Saves paying for refuse collection! (usually in conjunction with coal, less frequently wood) Definitely a rural thing there as opposed to urban.
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2021, 08:10:10 pm »
In similar vein, in Poland, where there are forests everywhere and one of the largest mining sectors in Europe, what people in villages mostly burn is... paper, plastic, food scraps and whatever else happens to be in their rubbish. Saves paying for refuse collection! (usually in conjunction with coal, less frequently wood) Definitely a rural thing there as opposed to urban.

Vaguely wondering when that went out of fashion here.  I recall a friend's elderly neighbour talking about the 'ash box', which I eventually inferred from context meant the wheelie bin.

Possibly an inevitable side effect of central heating making fires a thing for posh people and those in the sticks who didn't have mains gas?
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2021, 08:42:34 pm »
I use mine a lot.  I'm mildly asthmatic,  I've never noticed any adverse effect when opening the door (or even when cocking up lighting it so smoke gets into the room!)

It is a DEFRA-compliant one with triple air, I burn kiln-dried logs and I use it properly.  Some idiots burn wood with primary air open, which will make it smoke like a...er...chimney.  Wood is supposed to be burnt with secondary air only, once it's going.  There should be no visible smoke or smell then.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2021, 09:09:44 pm »
In similar vein, in Poland, where there are forests everywhere and one of the largest mining sectors in Europe, what people in villages mostly burn is... paper, plastic, food scraps and whatever else happens to be in their rubbish. Saves paying for refuse collection! (usually in conjunction with coal, less frequently wood) Definitely a rural thing there as opposed to urban.

Vaguely wondering when that went out of fashion here.  I recall a friend's elderly neighbour talking about the 'ash box', which I eventually inferred from context meant the wheelie bin.

Possibly an inevitable side effect of central heating making fires a thing for posh people and those in the sticks who didn't have mains gas?
Plastic dustbins, before wheelie bins, used to have 'No hot ashes' on their lids. But that referred to putting coal ashes in the dustbin, not burning rubbish. Burning rubbish is a pretty crap idea because nowadays it's full of plastic, which gives off lots of toxic fumes (you know this, and so do Polish villagers but they still do it) and even way back in the 70s it must have been pretty miserable in thermal potential compared to coal or wood.

But in Britain we haven't had the incentive to do this since [a long long time ago] because rubbish collection is provided by local councils for free (at least in the sense that you can't save money by opting out of it). The same applies in Polish towns but in rural areas it's an opt-in service which costs a bit extra. The stoves they burn it in are more like boilers than the pretty stoves with visible flames we have here, and open fires have never been a thing there.
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2021, 09:11:26 pm »
Woodburning?

All the old miner's places hereabouts still have open hearths for coal, and judging by the blue smoke haze that hangs in the valley on a calm winter's evening, along with that smell, they're clearly still well used.

Woodburning is for southerners ;).

Do you get trees north of Watford?
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2021, 09:16:34 pm »
Anyway, no woodburning stove in Castle Cudzo. My mum used to burn logs in an open grate, not as a primary heat source – although it was very roasty – but more for the flame appeal and as an occasional thing. I wouldn't mind one TBH but it would be very low priority.

There's been talk of woodburning being worse for PMs than diesel engines etc for a few years but I think this is the first time I've heard it addressed to the air within the house.
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2021, 09:20:07 pm »
In similar vein, in Poland, where there are forests everywhere and one of the largest mining sectors in Europe, what people in villages mostly burn is... paper, plastic, food scraps and whatever else happens to be in their rubbish. Saves paying for refuse collection! (usually in conjunction with coal, less frequently wood) Definitely a rural thing there as opposed to urban.

As in India.  Anything that can't be eaten by goats or cows is burnt outside the front door.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2021, 06:52:14 am »
Woodburning?

All the old miner's places hereabouts still have open hearths for coal, and judging by the blue smoke haze that hangs in the valley on a calm winter's evening, along with that smell, they're clearly still well used.

Woodburning is for southerners ;).

Not sure if its still the case, but ex-miners used to get free or very cheap coal which meant a much lower uptake of nat gas in some areas. In some cases I've seen mains being laid for the first time within the last 10 years
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2021, 07:09:23 am »
Why would you run a wood burning stove with the door open? It's just an open fire then and really inefficient. Our stove is 15kw and we run it maybe three or four times a week when its properly cold.
Its a defra approved one and its air intake in a pipe under the floor from outside. I can't see how its supposed to be sending loads of particulates into the room when the airflow is outside -> pipe -> stove -> chimney.
We buy locally sourced sustainable wood so its fairly carbon neutral. A lot better than coal or oil (the other heating source we have - no gas in our village) anyway.
When its running it heats the big living room / kitchen and runs the central heating for the rest of the house.

Wood burners don't scale though, if everyone used one as their source of heating the UK wouldn't have enough sustainable wood for it.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2021, 09:04:04 am »
Why would you run a wood burning stove with the door open? ... I can't see how its supposed to be sending loads of particulates into the room when the airflow is outside -> pipe -> stove -> chimney.

What happens when you want to add another log? I presume that's when most of the particles escape.

At a guess, I would also presume this goes some way to explaining the difference between log burners and pellet burners as mentioned by Mrs P earlier - IME pellet burners feed the firebox from a hopper that doesn't require the door being opened.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

T42

  • *** fool in a hurry
Re: Have you ditched the woodburning stove ?
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2021, 01:04:30 pm »
Why would you run a wood burning stove with the door open?

To see if your steak is done.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.