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What type of stove should be used in a smokeless area?
There are many factors that will influence which brand and model of wood burning or multi-fuel stove that you decide to buy, such as aesthetic appeal, heating requirements and budget. An additional aspect that is not immediately obvious but should not be overlooked is your geographical location and the restrictions that may apply there.
What is a smokeless area?
A district or part of a district becomes a smokeless or ‘smoke control’ area when the local authorities decide that it would be unsuitable for smoke to be emitted from a chimney or furnace there. This can be owing to existing pollution or the built-up nature of the area, such as a densely populated urban landscape.
Why do we have smokeless areas?
According to the department for environment, food and rural affairs (Defra), Clean Air acts were introduced in the UK in the 1950s and 1960s in an attempt to reduce high levels of pollution which had been linked to premature deaths.
The smog, which was created by large amounts of smoke in foggy conditions, was the result of burning huge quantities of coal in factories and surrounding homes.
By controlling the industrial and domestic emissions, along with other factors, there has been a considerable reduction in sulphur dioxide in smokeless areas over the last fifty years.
How can I find out which stoves are suitable for smokeless areas?
A large number of wood burning stoves are allowed in smokeless areas. Defra (or ministers of the relevant devolved administrations) have tested these appliances and declared them to be suitable for densely populated areas because of the low levels of smoke that they emit.
The tests ensure that the approved models burn appropriate fuels efficiently, which means excess particles are burnt off before they have a chance to escape up the chimney as smoke.
You should check with your local authorities for a list of exempt models. Stoves that are not accepted in other areas may be accepted by your local authority. A reliable supplier should also be able to guide you when purchasing a stove that is suitable for your district.