Wood Heating Banned!?!
You may have heard rumours that wood fire heating is banned will be banned, or is banned in some places, or might be banned somewhere...Well, it isn’t. Despite the attempts of a few to relegate wood heating to history, common sense has prevailed and now is a great time to select natural wood fire for warmth, beauty, and heating efficiency in your home.
The future of wood heating is sound, with political leaders such as New South Wales environment minister Matt Kean stating that he wouldn’t seek to ban wood heaters. With millions of Australians relying on wood heating for winter warmth, such a move would seem politically unlikely. As we’ll see later, however, there’s no good reason to ban wood heaters in the first place. On the contrary, we should encourage them.
No other heating source compares to the romance and traditions of natural fire. And now, with modern fireplace technology, you can remain eco and carbon-responsible while enjoying the unique atmosphere only fire provides.
Advanced Heating Technology
Wood heating technology is profoundly different from the fireplaces your grandparents grew up with. Owing to an increasingly carbon-conscious world, appliances that emit carbon, such as vehicles and other combustion-driven appliances, have come under increased pressure to modify for reduced carbon emissions.
Wood heaters, too, have been subject to recent and stringent emissions regulations to be met by manufacturers. It’s a positive development that has prompted technological innovation, ensuring that wood heating remains viable and comparatively eco-friendly relative to gas and electric heating.
Wood heating emission figures, as sighted by The Australian Home Heating Association, demonstrate radical emissions reductions. In 2015 emissions measurements revealed reductions from 4.0g/kg to 2.5g/kg. Tests in 2019 showed further emissions reductions to 1.5g/kg.
According to the EPA, a traditional open fireplace of yesteryear would lose 90% of its efficiency through the chimney. In addition, traditional fireplaces were dirty and dusty. Modern built-in and free-standing fireplaces have 60% and 90% efficiencies, depending on the style and brand. They are clean because ash, dirt and dust are always contained, with particulates reduced to1.5g per kilo of fuel and less.
The modern wood fire is engineered. Technologies such as catalytic chambers and planned and structured air flows, and the innovative design of baffles ensure complete burning for more efficiency and reduced fine ash, as well as the secondary burning of gases providing more heat while significantly reducing emissions.
While “put another log on the fire” will still be heard in a woodfired home, you will find it far less with a contemporary wood heater due to burning efficiency. And the adage of where there’s smoke, there’s fire may need to be re-worked a little, as many modern fireplaces produce little smoke. Models such as the Regency Mansfield has “emissions [that] are so low…almost no polluting smoke is released into the environment.”
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Cost to You and the Environment
Despite certain political bodies trying to tell us otherwise, woodfired heating is among the cleanest of all heating options. This fact comes directly from Australia’s chief scientific body, the CSRIO. These results were confirmed in 2 studies, firstly in 2002 and again in 2012. They found that modern wood heating produced fewer greenhouse gasses than other heating options. Indeed building code regulations have been changed and adapted in consideration of the efficiencies of wood heating.
Government regulations allow 1.5 grams of wood heater particulate emissions per 1 kilogram of fuel. They also require a minimum of 60% efficiency. Modern wood heaters continually beat these restrictions, which are some of the strictest in the world. And it stands to reason that technologies will continue to innovate and improve for even more significant emissions reductions and efficiencies.
It’s important to remind people that wood is an entirely renewable resource. Unlike coal, oil or gas, which has developed over millions of years and are a depleting finite resource, wood can be grown sustainably forever. Further to this, a log burned in a modern fireplace will produce less Co2 than if it were to fall and decay on the forest floor. Clearly, and contrary to what you may have heard through specific channels, wood heating is more sustainable, more environmentally friendly, and less harmful than other heating sources.
For those looking for cost-effective heating, wood is also kind to the back pocket. Depending on where you live and the style and design of your home, it can outcompete any other form of heating by a significant margin. Firstly, wood heating has a relatively low upfront cost, even for premium models. Secondly, the radiant heat of a fire is an exceptional quality of heat reaching further with more intensity than other forms. This reduces the fuel demand.
Appropriate seasoned and dried firewood sourced, cut, and delivered from a registered supplier might cost anywhere between $100 to $125 per month for a standard home. Resourceful wood heater families will often create networks where wood can be sourced cheaper, with many collecting and drying wood themselves, making heating very affordable.
It’s a Great Time to Consider Wood Heating
There is no substitute for the romance and traditions of wood. The ambience it creates in any home is unique and special – we form so many memories around the fire. Now we can do this knowing that our fire warms us to the core and ensures we’re being environmentally responsible and managing our carbon footprint.
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Call the team at The Home of Fire on (08) 7123 2806 and ask us about assessing your home to install an all-natural wood fire heater.