If you are in the market for a wood burning stove, you may have increasingly come across the term ‘Ecodesign’ being used when discussing stoves. It’s a term that has been used more and more over the past few years and is one of the latest additions to the ever-growing dictionary of stove industry jargon - but what does it mean? And more importantly, how should it affect the stove you buy? If you’re confused, don’t worry - you’re not alone!
In this blog post, we aim to demystify Ecodesign, break down what it is and how it affects stoves.
What is Ecodesign and What is an Ecodesign Stove?
The Ecodesign directive is a Europe-wide programme aimed at lowering harmful emissions, which came into effect on the 1st January 2022. It is based on a directive of the European Parliament, and isn't restricted to just stoves. It requires all household appliances, including stoves, boilers, air conditioning, and even toasters to meet lower emissions levels. An Ecodesign stove is a stove that passes the required testing and meets low emission requirements.
How Does Ecodesign Affect Wood Burning Stoves?
Under Ecodesign regulations, all stoves are now required to undergo rigorous testing to ensure that they meet the required level of emissions. Levels of emissions must now be 55% lower than was previously required, so there has been a lot of work done by manufacturers to meet these standards.
According to independent research conducted by Kiwa Gastec, Ecodesign stoves can reduce emissions by 90% in comparison to an open fire and by 80% compared to an old stove. That’s a huge difference!
Stoves have been given a bad press in recent years due to the issue of particulate matter (PM 2.5), which is let off by stoves. This is unfair, as the amount of PM 2.5 produced can vary wildly depending on what is burned and how the stove is operated.
For example, burning well seasoned wood with a moisture content of less than 18% and operating the stove efficiently will reduce particulate emissions significantly. It is also worth noting that, whilst stoves do produce this particulate, they are by no means alone in doing so- even toasters produce it! Cars and the burning of fossil fuels for energy are the leading causes of PM 2.5 emissions.
How Do I Know If A Stove Is Ecodesign?
All new stoves and log burners that are sold are now required by law to be Ecodesign compliant. The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) has been committed to the Ecodesign initiative, and were ahead of the game in setting up independent testing of stoves, prior to the official introduction of Ecodesign regulations.
Working with HETAS to verify whether new stoves meet the lower emissions and minimum efficiency criteria for Ecodesign, the SIA introduced ‘Ecodesign Ready’ branding for stoves, to help you identify which stoves were compliant.
Additionally, the SIA also created clearSkies, an initiative aimed at improving air quality by lowering by promoting the production and sale of efficient stoves that meet low emission levels. Independent tests have shown a clearSkies stove produces up to 90% less emissions than an open fire and 80% less emissions than the average 10-year-old stove.
How do Ecodesign Stoves Work?
Using an Ecodesign compliant stove is just like operating an older stove. The main difference is that whilst it was possible to shut older stoves right down so that they would burn slowly for long periods of time, with Ecodesign stoves this is no longer possible. The reason for this is that running a stove low for long periods of time produces a lot of nasty emissions, as well as not being good for your stove or flue. With the introduction of Ecodesign, stoves now there is technology in place to ensure that the stove always runs cleanly.
Will Ecodesign Impact My Choice Of Stove?
The short answer is yes! As of 1st January 2022, Bonk & Co. only sell Ecodesign stoves, and we are very happy to stock some of the best ‘Ecodesign Ready’ stoves on the market. When you buy an Ecodesign stove, you're not only investing in a more eco-friendly appliance, but you're also doing your part to reduce harmful emissions. Plus, an Ecodesign stove is more efficient and cost-effective in the long run. It should however be noted that the Ecodesign directive only relates to the sale of new appliances. Any stoves sold prior to the start of the initiative will be unaffected by the changes.
So, there you have it - everything you need to know about Ecodesign stoves. The next time you're in the market for a stove, make sure to look for the 'Ecodesign Ready' branding, and you'll be on your way to a more eco-friendly home.