More and more people are switching over to smokeless fuels to keep their home heated during the winter months. But what is it about smokeless coal and briquettes that make them such an attractive alternative to house coal and seasoned logs?
In this article, we’ll take a look at what smokeless fuels are and why they might be the right choice for you.
What Are Smokeless Fuels?
Smokeless fuels, such as anthracite coal, are burned in stoves and fireplaces. The reason they’re used is due to the clean burning properties of the fuel. The smokeless fuel produces up to 80% less smoke and minimal soot compared to house coal which means it’s much friendlier on the environment and produces less mess to clear up after burning. Not only that, smokeless fuels are better to use in a household where there those who suffer from asthma or other breathing difficulties may be present. By using smokeless fuels instead of wood or house coal, there’s less chance to aggravate their condition.
Smokeless fuels are also known as clean fuels and are a type of solid fuel. Solid fuels are fuels that burn in a solid form and include wood, charcoal, peat, and anthracite.
Smokeless fuels have many advantages over smoke-producing alternatives including burn rate and heat output. Different types of smokeless coal products will have specific types of burn rate and heat output which may be better for your usage.
Some people live in smoke-control areas and therefore must abide by the Clean Air Act rules that govern this. This limits users on what type of fuel they can burn if emitting smoke from a chimney. Appliances like burners and stoves are exempt from this.
What Is Smokeless Fuel Made Of?
Smokeless fuels come in a variety of types, the main one being anthracite. Welsh anthracite, mined from South Wales, is a favourite smokeless fuel due to the little mess it creates and the fact it burns with a low flame for a long period of time. Anthracite is also on the list of smokeless fuels authorised to be burned in smoke-control areas.
Compressed anthracite-dust ovoid Phurnacite is also one of the popular, premium choices of smokeless fuels amongst homeowners thanks to its extended heat output that is maintained at a steady level over the duration of the burn period.
Smokeless fuel can come as briquettes, beans, nuts, grains and even logs to suit the type of burner or stove you intend to use them with.
How Much Do Smokeless Fuels Cost?
The price of smokeless fuels depends upon the type purchased and the quantity. Generally, the more you buy (the bigger the sack), the less it costs overall rather than buying several smaller packs.
Smokeless coal products are often labelled using different brand names depending on who produces them. It’s best to shop around and find the best type of fuel for your usage, whether you’re looking for a fuel for your gravity-fed boiler or simply looking for a smokeless alternative for open fires.
if you’re looking to switch to smokeless fuels, you may find that they’re more expensive than traditional fuels like wood or coal. They also need a specific type of appliance fitted properly in order to burn correctly. So the initial outlay can be a bit more expensive than you’re used to.
However, with less mess and carbon dioxide output over their smokey alternatives, using smokeless coals does mean that less time and money will be spent cleaning and maintaining your appliance. With smokeless fuel also offering improved heat output and a longer burn duration, you don’t need to refuel as often as you need to with house coal or logs. As a result, you’re getting better value for your money.
What Appliances Can I Use Smokeless Fuels With?
Smokeless fuels can be used with a range of appliances, including open fires, multi-fuel stoves, boilers and even cookers. With the rising energy prices, adopting the use of a smokeless fuel appliance may be a wise investment to save you money long-term.
Rural properties often feature log burners or multi-fuel stoves to help provide heat to a property. If you live off-grid or live too remote to be connected up to the gas or electric grid, then a smokeless-fuel appliance is an ideal solution to provide heat or hot water to your home.
In recent years, we’ve seen urban homeowners ditch their gas fire for the cosier, smokeless coal fuelled stove. Some people prefer the heat output that a multi fuel stove offers, which can provide enough warmth to supplement or even replace the heat provided by central heating in a room. Other people decide to install stoves because they quite like the rustic, country-style aesthetic.