Information and Advice

DEFRA Approved Stoves and Smoke Control Zones Explained

DEFRA Approval and Smoke Control Zones can often be an area of confusion for potential stove buyers but it’s really quite simple to establish whether you need one or not. The first port of call if you are wishing to buy a stove and need to know which type to buy is your local council, they can tell you if your postcode falls into a Smoke Control Zone or not. A Smoke Control Zone is an area where it is illegal to burn wood on anything other than a DEFRA Approved stove. Most urban areas are but it is always worth checking first.

A DEFRA Approved stove is designed so that there is always enough combustion air provided so that the fire cannot smoulder and smoke due to lack of oxygen, this is achieved through the air controls of the stove. Some stoves are designed to be DEFRA Approved from the ground up such as Charnwoods C- Series stoves whereas others, such as the Stovax Stockton range have replacement air sliders available so that you can retro fit. The difference between each slider on that particular stove is simply a pin that stops the slider moving right across therefore stopping you from closing the stove right down.

One advantage of a DEFRA Approved stove is that (providing the stove has a 5” collar) it can be fitted to a 5” flue liner. Should you wish to burn wood on a non DEFRA Approved stove then you’ll need to install a 6” liner which is more costly and more problematic (in some cases) to install. You can however burn approved fuels on a non DEFRA stove installed to a 5” liner but this will not include wood.

Article written by Ryan Brocklehurst

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