by Cian O’Broin
RECENT media attention in several national news outlets has thwarted the public’s perception of the use of stoves in terms of efficiency and environmental impact, misinterpreting cherry-picked data and engraining this into the public psyche. Stoves are bad for the environment, they say. Nothing could be further from the truth according to a Clare businesswoman. Maeve Wilson of Fairgreen Stoves in Ennis refutes these negative sentiments and is looking to set the record straight through her extensive knowledge and expertise within the industry. Maeve lays out the truth about the use of stoves and their positive economic and environmental impact within the household. Looking to clear the air on the topic of efficiency and cost savings, Maeve states, “Statistically speaking, the much-lauded open fires are only 20 per cent efficient. For every ten-euros worth of fuel used, only two euros is available to the room. On the other side of the coin, we have stoves which hold 80 per cent efficiency, giving eight euro to the room from a ten-euro spend. Due to their inherent inefficiency, open fires encourage the use of coal. Because a stove offers 80 per cent efficiency it encourages the use of carbon neutral fuels like timber and reduces the use of all other fuels within the household.” The implications of heat loss experienced from the structure of an open fireplace can be felt deep within the householder’s pockets. A standard fireplace opening generally sits at 22 x 18”, resulting in a great deal of heat loss within the household caused by a huge draft created while the fire is burning. This draught pulls through the sitting room door and across your feet. The only way to stop this draught is through the use of an energy-efficient stove which allows the heat to move naturally throughout your home. Open fires require more fuel, adding expense on top of a distinct lack of air quality produced by dirt and dust when cleaning out ashes, a feature with potentially life-threatening consequences for some young children. Maeve notes an increase in room temperature experienced by a client that installed a stove last summer, whereby the overall room temperature increased from seventeen to twenty degrees, with no open fire necessary. “Resting zones in sitting rooms and living rooms can be controlled with ease by the stove. Whilst sitting down and relaxing, you are at your coldest. The desired room temperature can be controlled by your stove. The central heating can be adjusted to a lower temperature throughout the rest of the house at this time, maximizing cost savings. People find that when they get their stove, they use much less oil or gas because the draught is dramatically reduced and the heat is held overnight. They are turning their central heating on later and the radiator in the sitting room is now off.” The installation of a stove as opposed to an open fire system is something which new and old homeowners must seriously consider, both economically and environmentally. Financing the installation of a new stove can oftentimes be a deterrent for homeowners, however; Maeve feels that the government is incentivising the switch to the more environmentally friendly option of a stove, contrary to where public opinion may lie at the moment. “A stove increases the efficiency value in your house when calculating the BER rating. Banks are offering lower interest rates for B3 to A1 ratings. This is a fantastic selling point for any home. In 2022, the government are increasing the efficiency requirement of stoves. We have these in stock now, they are known as Ecodesign Ready Stoves. Finally, SEAI offer 132-euro credit for our stove installation through Electric Ireland. Ask in store for more details.” Tune in next week as Maeve looks to further separate fact from fiction, highlighting the importance of stove maintenance and breaks down the fallacy of wet fuel and of how most retail outlets are swindling the public in terms of energy-efficient fuel.
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