Poor air quality has been all over the news like a rash recently. The Mayor of London has even gone so far as warning people about the health risks of simple stuff like waiting at a London bus stop. Despite the government being responsible for safe air in our cities and towns, they have failed miserably to clean up their act.
The ‘Citizen Earth’ organisation, a collection of crowd-funded lawyers dedicated to forcing our leaders to perform better on environmental issues, has already sued the UK government twice over the air quality in Britain. But the air in many of our urban areas is still not up to scratch.
Many parts of the UK are smoke control areas, created according to the Clean Air Act 1993. It means you’re not allowed to emit smoke from a chimney unless you’re burning an authorised fuel or using an exempt appliance. In a smoke control area, AKA a smokeless zone, you can only burn fuels appearing on the list of authorised fuels, or ‘smokeless’ fuels.
It matters because you can be fined as much as £1,000 if you break the rules. So can you use your chiminea in a smokeless zone?
Smokeless zone exempt appliances
You can use barbecues, chimineas, fireplaces, firebowls, and pizza ovens in smoke-free zones.
Smokeless fuels to use in smokeless zones
In a smoke control area you can only burn fuel that’s on the government’s official list of fuels. The authorised fuels differ for England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, and it’s all pretty complicated. Luckily DEFRA has provided a list, which you can access here.
You can safely use all of these smokeless fuels in a smokeless zone:
- Low volatile steam coal
Unauthorised fuels like wood can be burned in exempt appliances, but bear in mind you should always stick to the fuels the manufacturer recommends. If you don’t, you can trash your chim.
Do you live in a smoke control area?
Do you live in a smokless zone? You can put your postcode into a simple form on this page to find out.
Chiminea extensions to take the smoke away
Chimineas smoke a bit, but not a lot. Even if you’re burning authorised fuel in an exempt appliance like a chiminea, you don’t want to annoy your neighbours with clouds of smoke.
One great way to minimise the risk is to buy a specially designed chiminea chimney extension pipe for cast iron and clay chims. It’s simple to fix – just stick it onto the top of the existing chimney on windy days and it’ll direct the smoke safely away from next door’s washing!
You don’t need any tools or glue, and you canb simply lift it off when you’ve finished using your chim and stash it for next time. Made from tough galvanised steel sealed with heat-resistant stove paint, it’s easy to keep in good condition thanks to our special stove paint.
Any chiminea questions?
If you want to ask questions about how chimineas work, what to burn in them and so on, we’re always happy to help. Just get in touch for friendly, professional advice and support.