Class 5 and EkoDesign provides a new benchmark for central heating boilers
Unfortunately Poland has some of the worst air quality in Europe. The extent of the problem has been confirmed by World Health Organization Report based on data regarding the beginning of 2016. An astonishing 33 of Europe’s 50 most-polluted towns are in Poland and Polish town was ranked as the most polluted, what confirms how serious and huge is the problem.
What is the main reason for air pollution in Poland?
According to conducted tests regarding air quality, coal heating in houses is largely to blame for air quality in Poland, as to save money, people burn waste coal and slurry or rubbish, which testify that in fact we are responsible for this pollution. Moreover previously applicable law and regulations did not specify limits regarding exhaust emission from heating devices. Pollution generated by industrial and manufacturing plants or engine exhaust fumes did not contribute as much to smog as pollution generated by heating stoves and boilers, therefore whenever winter is back in Poland, it is accompanied by smog and renewed concern about its impact on people’s health.
What is behind 5 Class of solid fuel boilers?
Currently applicable Polish standard PN-EN 303-5:2012, revised in 2012 laid down 3 Classes for solid fuel central heating boilers, operated manually or automatic, of thermal output up to 500kW. Class 3 is the lowest one, 4 is the medium and 5 is the highest one. The boiler is classified according to requirements regarding thermal efficiency specified by the Standard that it complies with, as well as limits of emission specified for the given Class. The previous Standard as of 2002 provided for 3 Classes of boilers: namely 1, 2 and 3 the highest one. Upon amendment the 3 Class has become the lowest permitted class for central heating boilers.
Unfortunately most of boilers operated in Poland do not meet any standards regarding emission and air pollution. It is estimated that as much as 70% of all central heating boilers in Poland related to coal stoves that do not meet any standards. These devices are popular mainly because of affordable price. Those who buy these devices however overlook the fact related to poor efficiency of such devices which results in high heating costs.
Will EcoDesign Directive improve the air quality in Poland?
The latest regulation established by the competent state department is to end practices related to use of poor quality fuel or rubbish in central heating boilers. Rigorous regulations regarding heating boilers and stoves are to improve the situation and air quality in Poland. The draft regulation laid down the requirements for solid fuel boilers of output below 500kW, and actually only 5 Class boilers will comply with such requirements only. This type of boiler guarantees low emission of carbon monoxide and organic carbon dusts to atmosphere, as well as high efficiency what means fuel consumption reduction. For example operation of an average central heating stove which does not meet any requirements results in ca. 400mg/m3 emission of dusts, whereas operation of automatic 5 Class boiler results in emission around 40mg/m3. It is a huge difference. These effects are possible thanks to specially designed construction that enables optimally efficient fuel combustion. Such after-combustion system provides for reduced emission of pollutants into the atmosphere. Since 2018 only installation of 5 Class boilers will be permitted. These provisions will be in force for two years, as since 2020 EcoDesign Directive will be implemented that will allow marketing of boilers only that meet the highest energy efficiency Class that refers to boiler efficiency less consumed electricity.