Ian Sams from specflue for the fire engine

Guest Blog by Ian Sams, Commercial Director, Specflue

Sustainable stoves for tomorrow’s world, available today…

According to forecasters, 2020 will be the decade in which environmentalism is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. From the bushfires in Australia to Greta Thunberg’s address to the UN, society has been shocked into action. The majority of the world’s population are now moving away from single-use plastics and fossil fuels, beginning instead to embrace positive change. To preserve the planet for future generations, we may well find ourselves enjoying insect protein and 3D printed meals in the coming years, getting from place to place in electric pods driven by AI.

During the past ten years, organisations have been facing increasing pressure to adopt a genuine and responsible approach towards the environment that we live in. It is a truth recognised the world over that commerce generates a great deal more waste than consumers, whether it is produced by a small family-run enterprise throwing their cardboard in the general waste bin or a multinational corporation with a global environmental impact.

Specflue has long been a leading UK provider of products and services related to wood burning stoves. Therefore our products have always offered a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels; and if logs are locally sourced, a wood burning stove is virtually carbon neutral. However, since the sector was identified as a legacy generator of particulates, Specflue has put environmental responsibilities at the heart of a twin strategy to become an active carbon-reduction enabler.

Firstly, as DEFRA has introduced Ecodesign legislation as part of its Clean Air Strategy to which all wood burners must conform by 2022, Specflue proudly promotes the fact that all of its products are already compliant. Conventional wood burning stoves offer a host of powerful benefits to householders. They are reliable, reduce heating bills, use a renewable fuel source, and Ecodesign ready technology is particularly energy efficient and clean burning compared with older incarnations. One of many exceptional examples of this technology is our Termatech range, available from the Fire Engine.

Secondly, Specflue has become the UK’s primary advocate for the use of ‘pellet burners’, which provide an even cleaner, next-generation evolution of the much-loved wood burner.

Amy MCZ pellet stove for the fire engineOne perceived drawback of woodburning stoves is that although you can regulate their air flow and heat output to a limited amount, you can’t simply switch them on and off, or expect instant heat. That’s where pellet stoves come in. Pellet stoves burn compressed wood or biomass pellets to create a source of heat. By slowly feeding fuel automatically from the storage container (the hopper) into the burn tray, a constant flame is created and monitored to ensure maximum efficiency.

Probably the biggest benefit of a pellet stove to its owner is its ease of use thanks to automatic ignition, power modulation and the fact that these stoves can be programmed; in fact, they can also be operated remotely as this film illustrates… MCZ pellet stove

But greater still is the benefit to the planet. The University of Manchester SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub focuses on research relating to the use of sustainable bioenergy systems. Its director, Professor Patricia Thornley, recently advised: “Biomass heating [which typically uses wood pellets or wood chips as fuel] is a technology available today that can immediately reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with heat production. Calculating the exact extent to which this reduces greenhouse gas emissions is complicated because you have to look at where the wood comes from, how it has been processed, etc.”
“We have done those calculations for many different types of system and find that you do get good reductions in greenhouse gas emissions – 58% for a pellet boiler replacing a natural gas boiler in a home; 94% for a chip boiler in a district heating system.” If you’d like to find out more about this technology, ask one of the heating experts at The Fire Engine.

As Kermit the Frog once philosophised, it isn’t easy being green. However, necessity is the mother of invention – and we at Specflue are proud of the work we have been doing to innovate, to drive change and to continually operate some distance ahead of the legal requirements. Working with trade installers and retail partners, such as The Fire Engine in North Devon and North Cornwall, we continue to invest in leading our sector’s work towards the UK Government’s 2050 net zero carbon objectives, and we are always seeking to continually improve.

Call in to the showroom to find out more about Termatech stoves or MCZ pellet burners, or phone us on 01237 420904 to book your free survey.



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