Understanding Smoke Control Areas

Understanding Smoke Control Areas

Wherever you live, it’s important to understand any local regulations in place. If you live in a town or city, it’s more than likely that you live in a Smoke Control Area. Read on to find out more.

What is a Smoke Control Area?

Smoke Control Areas, or sometimes referred to as Smoke Control Zones, were implemented in the 1950s and 1960s to help tackle the growing pollution following the Industrial Revolution.

Most towns and cities tend to be considered Smoke Control Areas, which means you must meet the smoke emission standards for these areas. You can find out if you live in a Smoke Control Area by contacting your local council.

Vogue 700 Inset woodburner

What can I burn in a Smoke Control Area?

If you live in a Smoke Control Area, you can only burn authorised smokeless fuels on a multi-fuel appliance. To find out which smokeless fuels can be used, head to the DEFRA website for a full list.
You can enjoy burning wood in a Smoke Control Area, as long as you use a DEFRA-exempt appliance which enables you to do so.

How can I tell if my wood burning stove is DEFRA-exempt?

When you purchase your new wood burning stove, your Local Expert Retailer will be able to advise if your appliance is DEFRA-exempt or not. Stovax & Gazco offer the largest range of DEFRA-exempt stoves and fires in the UK, meaning there is an option to suit almost any home.

How can I get the most from my appliance?

Even if you have a DEFRA-exempt stove, it is important we all do our part to minimise emissions and improve air quality where possible. We recommend:

  • Use an Ecodesign Ready stove or fire – many of Stovax’s wood burning stoves and fires are both DEFRA-exempt and Ecodesign Ready, which reduces emissions drastically. Find out more here
  • Ensure the installation of your stove or fire has been carried out by a HETAS registered installer
  • Keep your wood burning stove or multi-fuel appliance well maintained to ensure optimum efficiency and performance
  • Burn good quality dry wood of a moisture content between 14-20% – using wet wood results in poor combustion and the production of tar and creosote that can damage your flue and puts your property at risk of chimney fires

Read more about burning right to improve air quality here.

If you have any further questions on choosing a DEFRA-exempt stove for a property situated in a Smoke Control Area, speak to your Local Expert Retailer for more guidance.

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Posted by on January 25, 2021

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