Wood burning stove in smoke control area

Can I have a wood burning stove in a smoke control area? 

The simple answer is Yes, but there are certain considerations that need to be made. 

Understanding Wood Burning Stove Regulations in Smoke Control Areas: A Factual Guide to Defra Approved and Ecodesign Stoves in the UK.

For homeowners in Smoke Control Areas across the United Kingdom, the prospect of having a wood-burning stove can be both appealing and perplexing due to regulatory considerations. In this blog post, we'll delve into the facts surrounding the use of wood-burning stoves in these areas, focusing on Defra approved and Ecodesign stoves as compliant options.

Navigating Smoke Control Areas:

Smoke Control Areas, designated by local councils, aim to manage air quality by regulating the use of traditional open fires and specific types of wood-burning stoves. The focus is on minimizing emissions and particulate matter to enhance environmental conditions.

Understanding Compliance:

Can you have a wood-burning stove in a Smoke Control Area? Yes, but compliance is crucial. Traditional stoves emitting excessive smoke are restricted, while modern, clean-burning stoves, which are Defra approved, are permissible. In smoke control areas, stoves needs to be Defra exempt whether or not the meet Ecodesign standards. Stoves can't be used in a smokeless area if they are Ecodesign compliant but not Defra exempt. For more info on Ecodesign click here.

Facts about Defra Approved Stoves:

Clean Combustion: Defra approved stoves are recognized for their clean combustion, as they have met the criteria set by the UK's Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra). These stoves minimize smoke emissions and contribute to better air quality.

Compliance with Local Regulations: Choosing a Defra approved stove ensures compliance with local regulations in Smoke Control Areas. Homeowners can confidently use these stoves without compromising environmental standards.

Key Attributes of Ecodesign Stoves:

EU Regulations: Ecodesign stoves adhere to stringent European Union regulations designed to reduce emissions and enhance energy efficiency. They are engineered to burn wood more cleanly, contributing to a positive environmental impact.

Advanced Combustion Technologies: Equipped with advanced combustion technologies, Ecodesign stoves facilitate cleaner and more efficient burning, ensuring a positive balance between warmth and reduced environmental impact.

Determining Your Location:

Local Authority Resources: Local councils offer factual online resources, including maps and databases, to help residents determine if they reside in a Smoke Control Area. These resources empower homeowners with accurate information.

Government Websites: National environmental agencies and government websites provide factual tools, allowing residents to input their addresses and confirm whether they fall within a Smoke Control Area.

Compliance Guidelines:

Select the Right Stove: Defra approved and Ecodesign stoves are factual choices for compliance. Homeowners can confidently choose these stoves, knowing they align with regulations and contribute positively to air quality.

Approved Fuels: Burn authorised fuels, such as smokeless options or well-seasoned wood with low moisture content, in adherence to regulations and factual guidelines.

Routine Maintenance: Factual compliance involves regular maintenance of your stove. Scheduled servicing ensures optimal efficiency and compliance with emissions standards.


Understanding the facts surrounding the use of wood-burning stoves in Smoke Control Areas is essential for homeowners. By opting for Defra approved stoves, complying with local regulations, and employing authorised fuels, residents can enjoy the benefits of a wood-burning stove while contributing to a cleaner and healthier environment.
For more info on Ecodesign click here.


Written by Gary Walker 
Gary, owner of Swept. Chimney Sweeping Services in Huddersfield, is a HETAS trained and approved chimney sweep, co-founder of GD Logs (www.gdlogs.co.uk), and an award-winning direct marketing expert. Raised on a small holding with a passion for wood burners since the 80s, Gary is City & Guilds NPTC qualified in Chainsaws and Tree Felling. He advocates for sustainable heating fuels and possesses a passion for wood burning stoves. 

Read our blog post on Ecodesign stoves

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