DEFRA is the UK Government Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and regulates smoke emissions under the Clean Air Act 1993.
If you live in a smoke control area and wish to install a woodburning stove, the stove should be DEFRA approved. If the stove is not DEFRA approved, it can still be installed but ONLY if you burn specific smokeless fuels authorised by DEFRA. If you do not live in a smoke control area then you are not affected at all by this law, but if you do purchase a stove that happens to be DEFRA approved, you can be assured of a clean burning, high efficiency stove.
For a list of DEFRA approved stoves and authorised fuels, please visit their website.
To find out if you live in a smoke control area, DEFRA recommend contacting the Environmental Health or Protection department of your Local Authority.
Before 1st October 2010, building regulations stated that all stoves (wood or multifuel) must be fitted with a minimum 6″ diameter flue system. However as of 1st October 2010 you can install a 5″ diameter flue system ONLY if the connecting stove is DEFRA approved and has a 5″ flue outlet.
To clarify, if you are installing a non DEFRA approved stove using 6″ diameter flue supplies, it is perfectly normal for the stove to have a 5″ flue outlet. In this case the piece of flue pipe that connects to the stove with be 5″ and then you must use a 5″-6″ adaptor that will connect the 5″ flue pipe to the 6″ system. This still complies with building regulations.
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