Bruce’s Newsletter Welcome December 2017
As we move closer to the Christmas break everyone at HETAS passes on our very best wishes to you and yours. We hope you have a peaceful and happy break.
Its always nice to reflect back on the year as it comes to a close. This year HETAS staff have had a number of charity fund raising events and HETAS tops up the donations to national and local charities wherever we can. This year we have given donations to Children in Need, St Richards Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support and Save The Children.
This winter is the busiest we have experienced since the industry boom leading up to 2014/15 and we hope this means that the reduction in activity since the boom is levelling out and returning to normal levels. Certainly, the number of jobs being notified to HETAS suggests that the stove market in particular has picked up lately despite press attention on air quality and wood-burning.
HETAS and Woodsure have been working with Defra on the air quality issues and we can report that there is no plan to ban stoves or any of those drastic measures suggested by some news reporters. The move is definitely towards better modern clean burning appliances and dry wood fuels like good quality logs and wood briquetted “fire logs”. We are in close contact with scientists at Leeds and Manchester Universities where extensive testing is going on.
Early reports show that dryer wood reduces particulate emissions and Woodsure has taken on board the scientific evidence in setting the maximum moisture content for logs at 20% wet basis. The average kiln dried wood that is sampled from suppliers is 12.8% and for seasoned wood it is around 18%. It is also worth knowing that stoves are designed and tested on wood that is 16% + or – 4% and wood log fuel burns at its best in these parameters.
We are in the process of writing an Air Quality issue of our regular technical bulletin. It will contain the information you need when talking to your customers about appliance and fuels. The good news is that Defra supports the Woodsure Ready to Burn scheme and the drive to advise customers to buy new clean burn appliances, replacing open fires and old stoves where possible.