In recent years, open fireplaces and wood burning stoves have become increasingly popular as a means to heat homes throughout the UK. However, the smoke they produce directly contributes to our country’s high level of air pollution. In an effort to reduce carbon emissions and to improve the quality of the air we breathe, the government has designated certain parts of the country as smoke control areas. If you live in one of these areas, there will be restrictions on the type of heating appliance and fuels you can use to heat your home.
While gas and electric fires are smokeless appliances, Godalming homeowners with wood burners and multifuel stoves must only burn authorised fuels or smokeless fuels. Alternatively, you can buy a DEFRA exempt stove from the gas fire installers at our fireplace showrooms in Bagshot and Guildford.
The Department of the Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is responsible for food production and standards, fisheries, rural communities, agriculture and environmental protection in the UK. They rigorously test and approve certain appliances that demonstrate low smoke emissions when used. These are known as DEFRA exempt stoves, or smoke exempt stoves, which can burn specified fuels in smoke control areas.
This includes fuels such as wood, that you cannot otherwise burn in fireplaces or stoves in a smoke control area.
Purchasing a DEFRA exempt wood burner or multifuel stove, from our fireplace showrooms, saves you from having to think about such issues.
If you are looking for electric or gas fireplaces, then this is not something you need to worry about. However, Godalming customers interested in wood burning stoves or multifuel stoves need to take care, to avoid falling foul of the law. If you are unsure as to whether or not you live in a smoke control area, feel free to pop into either of our fireplace showrooms and talk to our gas fire installers.
Not only will we clarify your position, but we also offer expert advice to help you purchase the very best product for your Godalming home.
Some of the smokeless fuels you can burn in smoke control areas include:
You may also burn kindling in stoves and fireplaces in certain areas, but our gas fire installers recommend you check with your local council beforehand.
Fuels like wood may only be used in exempt wood burning stoves and multifuel stoves, just like many of the models we stock at our fireplace showrooms. However, for your safety, you must only ever use the types of fuel that the manufacturer recommends for your appliance.
Our gas fire installers remind you to never burn household rubbish or treated waste wood, such as fence panels or old furniture. Such items can emit toxic pollutants and harmful fumes, like arsenic, into the atmosphere.
You can also use outdoor fireplaces, chimineas, pizza ovens and barbecues around Godalming. However, if any of these appliances release smoke through the chimney of a building, such as a summerhouse, then you can only burn authorised fuels.
This does not apply if you use exempt wood burning stoves and multifuel stoves.
If you are not sure about the rules, regulations and restrictions of living in smoke control areas, feel free to talk to the experts at our fireplace showrooms.