Can I have an open fire in my house?

Learn more about the wet wood ban and the difference in efficiency between an open fire and a Stove.

The department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the UK decided to move forward with the ban of selling certain types of wood and house coal in 2021. The government spearheaded the decision to approve the ban to encourage the public to embrace cleaner forms of fuel that don’t produce a substance known as Particulate Matter (PM). PM consists of small air pollution particles that can infiltrate vital body organs and potentially cause a wide range of diseases and disorders. This led many people to ask the question, “Can I have an open fire in my house?”

Can I have an open fire in my house with the new ban?

It’s important to note that open fires are not being banned, rather, the use of certain fuels such as wet wood, which produces a significant amount of PM, will be phased out. So, if you enjoy the comfort and warmth aesthetic pleasures offered by open fires or a wood-burning stove, don’t worry because you can still achieve this while protecting the environment.

Is there much difference in heat output between a Wood burning Stove and an Open Fire?

open fire burner in a living room
Open Fires are a beautiful feature in a room

Open fires are a beautiful cosy feature to a room; however, an open fire produces less heat output than a Stove. Here are a couple of things to consider when choosing an open fire or a woodburning stove.

Firstly, while open fires are an enticing feature, they tend to leave more mess due to wood spitting and ash falling onto the hearth, then that of a stove which is enclosed.

Secondly, a wood burning stove is a much better convector and will release 65% heat output back into the room. An open fire only releases about 10-20% heat output.

Thirdly, while the open fire is being lit, the draw from the chimney may not draw all the smoke efficiently, causing more smoke to leak into the room, and may leave smoke stains to the surrounding fireplace. A open fire must have an 8 Inch Liner installed to be safe and efficient.

Poor weather or a change in wind direction can affect the chimneys’ ability to draw well.

With a wood burning stove, the smoke is contained, also reducing the health risk to those with sensitive respiratory systems.

Which wood is best for open fires and stoves?

It is no surprise that wood burns best the drier it is. But in terms of efficiency, some of the best woods to burn include Ash, Oak, Cherry (needs to be seasoned well), Beech, Sycamore or Birch.

Why you should use smokeless fuels on open fires and multi fuel stoves?

The government are phasing out the sales of bags of standard house coal by 2023 as it produces a lot of smoke. Smokeless coal such as Anthracite is becoming more readily available, and although it is a little more expensive, it is a harder, denser product than the standard house coal, so should burn for longer requiring less of it.

Contact us today

Caledonian Stoves is a well-established family business from Stirling and provide quality service from start to finish. They specialise in installing warm, efficient and clean-burning stoves. Call us now for more information on can I have an open fire in my house or to book a free, no-obligation survey, where we can answer your questions and take your measurements for a free quotation. We will send you links to different stove brands suitable for you and design ideas for fireplaces and hearths.