Indoor air pollution

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Wood burners

We all love a real flame to come home to, especialling on cold winter evenings.  But the growing popularity of open fires and log burners is having an impact on our air quality.  The burning of solid fuels in our homes is now the single largest contributor to UK particle emmissions at 38%.  So how can you reduce air pollution but still love your log burner?!

  • Step 1 - buy a Defra approved stove. Search for appliances and fuels on the Defra website
  • Step 2 - have it installed by a competent person who can show you how to operate it efficiently. Visit Burnright for more information
  • Step 3 - use smokeless fuels or dry well-seasoned wood.  Look for the Woodsure Ready to Burn logo where wood is guaranteed to have a moisture content of 20% or less
  • Step 4 - only light it when you really need to
  • Step 5 - maintain your stove as recommended by the manufacturer and sweep the chimney twice a year to remove particulates and reduce the risk of chimney fire.

Check whether you live in a smoke control area - your local council can advise which authorised fuels and exempt stoves can be used in these areas.

If you need advice and support to help you keep warm and reduce energy bills, there are lots of local organisations who can help.  Visit West Sussex Energy for more information or take a look at the Keeping warm pages on this website for local contacts. 

Regularly ventilate your home!

Everyday activities such as cooking, cleaning, heating and maintaining your home can increase your exposure to air pollutants. When products containing volatile organic compounds (VOC) are used, the chemicals evaporate into the air at room temperature. VOC levels inside the home can often exceed outdoor levels, especially if ventilation is poor.  Simple steps to reduce the level of VOCs in your home include:

  • opening a window when cooking or using cleaning products
  • using unperfumed or naturally scented cleaning or personal care products
  • avoiding aerosols
  • keeping dust levels low
  • removing mould
  • servicing your boiler each year

Consider using eco or low VOC paints/varnishes/furnishings/carpets when changing your decor, as some products can emit VOCs for up to 5 years.

To find out more about air quality, visit the Air quality page on this website.

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