Fuel for Wood Burning Stoves in Smokeless Zones
Burning wood in smokeless zones can be confusing.
Wood is not specifically listed as a smokeless fuel, so many people assume they can’t burn it in smoke controlled areas. However, by using a DEFRA certified stove (also known as an exempt appliance), good quality, dry wood can be used safely.
There’s an excellent article on The Stove Fitters’ Manual, which explains this nicely. Don’t worry – exempt appliances are not hard to find. The full list can be found on DEFRA’s website. Briquettes are easier to store than logs and take up less space
Get the right appliance, get the right fuel
We specialise in dry, ready to burn wood fuel, which is perfect for using in DEFRA approved stoves in smokeless zones. We have lots of customers in cities who enjoy using our wood briquettes because they’re easy to store, convenient and clean-burning.
Dry fuel is important. It creates less smoke and therefore fewer pollutants. Dry wood also produces more heat, because the energy of the fire isn’t spent on burning off water first. Seasoned logs are not ideal – they’re often high in moisture – often well over 20%. Kiln-dried logs are better – they’re between 10-20% moisture. Wood briquettes are best – they’re between 4-10% moisture.
Why we recommend wood briquettes over kiln-dried logs
- Wood briquettes are drier and denser. Which means you get more heat but use less fuel.
- They’re clean and easy to handle. Briquettes come in easily stacked packs and take up less space than logs. They also don’t contain lots of creepy-crawlies – perfect if there’s an arachnophobe in your house!
- Briquettes cost about the same as logs in terms of heat output. This surprises many people, who assume briquettes must be more expensive. Find out more.
- They’re made from a waste by-product. Any industry that processes wood produces sawdust. Usually, sawdust is a waste product and often ends up in landfill. Wood briquettes are made from pure wood sawdust, chips or grindings and so use this waste product rather than sending it to landfill.
- We don’t have to fell trees for firewood, which helps preserve important habitats. Good firewood comes from hardwoods – deciduous, slower-growing trees, such as oak and ash. These are valuable habitats in the UK, and take a long time to regenerate, so chopping them down to burn is not as sustainable as many would like to think. This is likely to become more of an issue as the number of wood-burning appliances increases.