Are your heating systems winter ready?

Radiator control

Hambleton homeowners are being urged to review the type of fuel they are using on open fires and wood-burning stoves.

And they are being advised to check their solid fuel heating systems as the cold weather begins to set in.

Burning the wrong fuels at home, such as wet wood or some types of coal, release harmful smoke into the air which, when mixed with other emissions in the chimney, can affect everyone’s health.

Poorly maintained appliances, poorly ventilated chimneys and the burning of inappropriate fuels will also release harmful chemicals into the home - these pollutants significantly affect indoor air quality. Regular exposure to these pollutants can be harmful and can lead to poor health which will be amplified in vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly.

In 2020 the UK Government introduced ‘The Air Quality (Domestic Solid Fuels Standards) (England) Regulations 2020’ with the aim of phasing out the sale of coal and wet wood and encouraging users to move to cleaner alternatives such as dry wood and manufactured solid fuels. Phasing out sales of coal and wet wood is a vital step towards protecting the nation’s health from toxic air.

The district council has a practical guide for homeowners covering:

  • using wood burning stoves or open fires as a primary heating source
  • homes with older stoves
  • considerations for installing an open fire or wood-burning stove. It can be accessed at here: 

Residents are also being advised to check their solid fuel heating systems. Many appliances may not have been used over the summer and may be prone to blockages or be defective due to lack of maintenance. If heating appliances are not working correctly, carbon monoxide can be released into the home.

This colourless, odourless and tasteless gas is hard to detect, and even relatively low levels of exposure can have fatal consequences for the occupiers of properties. Carbon monoxide exposure can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and eventually loss of consciousness.

Regular maintenance of solid fuel heating systems will allow correct operation and prevent the release of carbon monoxide. Having the chimney swept will help make sure the flue is sufficiently clear to allow dangerous fumes to escape and help avoid chimney fires. It’s recommended that chimneys are swept every year, and more often if heavily used. For more information check out: www.hambleton.gov.uk/homeheatingleaflet

For more information relating to solid fuel heating systems, maintenance and fuel types, please check out:

Published: 26th November 2021

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