Stove Experience

Smokeless wood

By Eoin
Jun 9th, 2018

Sounds like a strange title, I know, but we are asked! No, there is no such thing as smokeless wood!

However…..there are appliances on the market designed and built to reduce emissions not just to conform to current clean air requirements and pollution controls, but going above and beyond those requirements, in effect, “Future proofed”!

Attempts by manufacturers of wood burning stoves to achieve this vary tremendously….and the results ditto!

Here’s the proof…go to

Choose “All four countries” (Since DEFRA do testing for everybody, the only issues between parliaments is the length of time it takes them to ratify results!)

Take one off the top of the list you see…(I’ll go “Aduro 16.5w woodburning stove”) Nowt against them, they just have the misfortune to be at the start of the alphabet , so come up first!)

Click “Detailed information” (For any nation..) and you will get a column of information, most of which is obvious…but pay attention to “Additional conditions” (presumably by “Additional” they mean those conditions that must be met to allow inclusion on the exempt appliances list) You will be seeing…..

“Instruction manual dated July 2015 and reference “Version 1 – 2015.07” The appliance must be fitted with a permanent stop to prevent closure of the secondary air slider beyond the 67% open position”

“Aha!” (You exclaim!) “I now know the secret of how to build a 21st century, smoke eating, super duper, save the planet, smokeless wood burning stove!”

Basically it mirrors Volkswagens reputed first attempts at emissions reduction, that involved a potato and a hammer…

Simply disable the product so the “End user” (You!) cannot shut the thing down properly, and the stove will run, hotter, harder, more of the time….and get through the test!

Here’s another one to try. (No favouritism….just another random, but different, example…)

Vermont castings encore Model 2040

The “Additional conditions” here

“Homeowner’s installation and operating manual dated July 2013, reference: 30005552 7/13 Rev. 9. The appliance must be operated with the catalyst.”

 “Aha!” (You exclaim….but not so loudly, and with hints of doubt….)

“Perhaps there is more than one way to skin a cat” (alyst)

Yeah…here’s the rub. All DEFRA approved stoves are equal (They all got through the test, but some are more equal than others!)

That’s only two ways…play with the list. Its an eye opener, but largely, the same old adage is true….”You get what you pay for!”


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