Have you heard the term Ecodesign stoves being bandied around? The wood-burning stove business has no shortage of jargon, and this is one of the latest technical terms to enter our vocabulary.
While the Ecodesign principle is useful for customers (and certainly will be in the next few years), for somebody who is new to woodburners and trying to work out which appliance is right for them, it is another word with which to get to grips before you can make an informed purchase.
In this article, we will aim to demystify Ecodesign stoves and answer some key questions about them.
What is Ecodesign?
Ecodesign isn’t restricted to wood-burning stoves. It is a Europe-wide programme to lower emissions based on a directive of the European Parliament that comes into full effect in the UK in 2022. As well as woodburners, it also relates to a range of other products, such as:
Domestic and service industry lighting products:
Directional and non-directional lamps (including ultraviolet radiation)
Fluorescent lamps (without integrated ballast)
High-intensity discharge lamps
Ballasts and luminaires able to operate such lamps
Computers and servers
Simple/complex set-top boxes
Standby for networked equipment
Heating and cooling devices:
Local space heaters
Solid fuel local space heaters
Solid fuel boilers
Electric power consumption standby and off mode
External power supplies
How does Ecodesign affect woodburners?
The Ecodesign regulations require significant reductions to emissions from woodburners. In fact, emissions need to be 55% lower than the current requirements for DEFRA exempt stoves (which can be used within smoke control areas).
Burning wood produces particulate matter (PM). The amount produced can vary significantly depending on what is being burned and how the stove is being operated. In other words, using well seasoned wood with a moisture content of less than 20% and operating your woodburner efficiently significantly reduces the particulate emissions.
What are Ecodesign stoves?
The Stove Industry Alliance has preempted the introduction of the Ecodesign directive by working with Hetas to setup independent testing to verify woodburners that meet the lower emissions and minimum efficiency criteria for Ecodesign. It is branding stoves that pass the tests as Ecodesign Ready.
Independent research conducted by Kiwa Gastec shows Ecodesign stoves can reduce emissions by 90% in comparison to an open fire and by 80% compared to an old stove.
Should Ecodesign impact my buying decision?
At the moment, buying an Ecodesign stove is a personal preference based on it having been verified as having lower emissions (in the same way that you might buy a new car based on similar reasons). When the Ecodesign directive came into force in January 2022, it only relates to the sale of new appliances, and any stoves sold prior to the start of the initiative will still be unaffected by the changes 🔥
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