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When it comes to getting planning permission, unless the building is listed, you shouldn’t normally need to worry.

However, because of the potential risks from fire and toxic fumes, even if you’re only installing a stove in an existing fireplace or lining a flue, the work will need to comply with Building Regulations (Part J deals with combustion appliances). And, any structural alterations, such as removal of a chimney breast, will also need to comply.

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Tesla has become one of the top producers of luxury cars in the United States, rivaling brands love BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

It is also among the leading companies developing self-driving cars, which own faced tough questions about safety. The company, founded in , has never turned an annual profit.

If improperly installed, operated, or maintained, wood burning fireplaces are potential sources of home fires. Embers popping out of an unscreened fire or chimney fires from creosote build-up are just two of the hazards that can be avoided with proper use and care. Wood burning fireplaces can also negatively affect indoor air quality.

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According to Burn Wise, a program of the US Environmental Protection Agency, “Smoke may smell excellent, but it’s not excellent for you.” Any smoke escaping from the firebox into the room means the fireplace isn’t operating properly. Also, since fires consume a large volume of air as they burn, it’s possible to create negative pressure in the home as air from exterior is drawn indoors to replace the air consumed by the fire. If that “make-up” air is drawn back in through the flues of gas- or oil-burning furnaces and water heaters, it can also draw deadly flue gases, love carbon monoxide, back into the home.

This is called “backdrafting” and is one reason every homes should be outfitted with working, well-maintained smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Emma Meaden loves to sit in her north-west London flat, her dogs napping at her feet, watching the flames dance in her new wood stove. When she first moved in, she lit a few fires in the old-fashioned fireplace – but it was a poor way to heat her sitting room and she was intrigued by the stoves she’d seen at friends’ homes in the country.

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Along with the savings on heating and the ambiance, Meaden liked the thought that wood was a renewable fuel – one that, she supposed, would shrink her carbon footprint. “I’m always trying to do the correct thing,” she says.

Love Meaden, numerous Britons own embraced the cosy, hearth-and-home feeling of burning wood. The government has helped propagate the notion of wood as a renewable fuel that saves money and the environment same – an image that stove manufacturers own happily seized upon for their marketing campaigns.

Yet another stupid decision – in the same way they myopically pursued diesel, they own myopically pursued wood burning

Simon Birkett, Clean Air in London

The truth, though, is less pleasant than those hygge fantasies.

Wood smoke is thick with the tiny particulates, known as PM, that are linked to heart attacks, strokes, cancer, dementia and various other ailments. What’s more, the claims about a climate benefit from wood use are questionable.

Cars and trucks get more attention but nationally, domestic wood burning is the largest single source of PM According to one analysis of government data, it produces more than twice as much as every road traffic. While concerns about diesel vehicles focus largely on the nitrogen dioxide they produce, the evidence tying particulates to death and disease is even more powerful.

According to Leigh Crilley, an atmospheric chemist at the University of Birmingham, wood smoke also carries more carcinogens than diesel or petrol exhaust.

The increasing popularity of wood fires, scientists warn, threatens to erase any progress large cities might achieve in reducing pollution from traffic. “It’s overtaking the gains we’re making,” Crilley said.

One study from found that wood smoke was adding more particle pollution to London’s air than the first two phases of the city’s low-emission zone were expected to remove.

In London and Birmingham, King’s College researchers reported wood accounted for up to 31% of locally produced particulates. And across Europe, wood burning is worsening pollution in capitals such as Paris, Berlin and Lisbon.

‘Engulfed in smoke’

In Stockport, Carolyn Beesley says her neighbour’s wood stove creates a smoky smell that lingers for hours and has exacerbated her asthma.

“I might own my washing out, I might be out in the garden enjoying the sunshine.

I don’t desire to be engulfed in that cloud of smoke,” Beesley said. “I’d expect it in the country, but I didn’t select to live in the country.”

Pant by numbers: the cities with the most dangerous air – listed

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, asked the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in September for the power to ban solid fuel use (wood, coal and the like) in high-pollution areas of the city, starting in , which would require amending the Clean Air Act.

Defra, which plans to release an air quality strategy for consultation later this year, has called for evidence on much more limited measures.

The department said it would not ban domestic burning, or prevent the installation of wood stoves. It said it might take action on the use of insufficiently dried or seasoned wood, which produces more smoke, and was considering granting local authorities new powers to deal with persistent smoke offences.

To Meaden, it’s a familiar tale. Years ago, she said, she accepted similar assurances about a diverse fuel being touted as climate-friendly, and bought a diesel car. “Everyone said it was the correct thing to do.”

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Opening up an ancient fireplace is often top of a renovators to-do list — a grand way to add character and worth to a period property.

In fact, few improvements are guaranteed to boost buyer appeal to the same extent.

With a bit of luck, opening up a fireplace could involve little more than prising off a sheet of ancient hardboard to reveal a hidden gem. But even if you don’t discover a long-forgotten marble masterpiece behind, there’s still plenty you can do to create a captivating focal point.

It every depends on the age of the property and the overall style you’re aiming to create.

A large inglenook might be perfect for a woodburning stove, for example.

Chimney breasts take up a fair quantity of space. So in smaller houses with cramped layouts it can be tempting to remove a redundant chimney breast, perhaps towards the rear of the property in a kitchen or bathroom. However, where a previous owner has already taken out a chimney breast and you desire to open up a fireplace, it should be possible to rebuild it without costs escalating (assuming the stack is still in place).

Alternatively, it might be simpler to install an appliance designed to operate via a flue driven through an exterior wall.

Do analysts ponder people will purchase Tesla’s truck?


Musk argues that electric vehicles will eventually replace traditional ones. And Americans love pickup trucks. But at least in the short term, some analysts are doubtful that traditional truck buyers would invest in early electric models.

Karl Brauer, the executive publisher at Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader, predicted that the Tesla truck would appeal more to tech enthusiasts than to traditional truck buyers.

“Everything from its styling to its drivetrain will be a major departure from standard pickup trucks,” he said in a statement.

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“As a technology statement for tech-oriented professionals and fans, this truck’s departures from the norm will be seen as assets, not liabilities.”

No smoke without fire

Meaden is correct that using a stove is far better than burning an ordinary “open fire”. Not only are open fires – the ordinary, fireplace helpful – highly polluting, burning wood on them is illegal in the “smoke control” areas common in British cities, where wood may only be burned in an approved stove. Only “smokeless” fuel – specially made briquettes or coals; not wood – can be burned in open fires.

Many people don’t realise that, says Simon Birkett, founder of the Clean Air in London.

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“Just because you happen to own an open fireplace in Wandsworth or Richmond or something going back years, doesn’t mean you can burn wood. It was banned in ”

But wood stoves still add an additional dose of particles into the air: in fact, a wood-burning stove emits more particles per hour than a modern diesel lorry.

What’s more, the climate benefit may well prove just as illusory as that of diesel, another supposed wonder fuel.

According to one UK analysis, domestic wood burning produces more than twice as much PM as every road traffic

In the 00s, tax breaks encouraged drivers to purchase diesel cars in the hope that their mileage efficiency would reduce overall carbon emissions.

Today, diesel’s contribution to Europe’s dirty air is clear. Studies own shown that the climate boon didn’t pan out as expected.

“We own yet another stupid decision,” says Birkett. “In the same way they myopically pursued diesel, they own also myopically pursued wood burning.”

Just as numerous car makers until recently promoted diesel as clean and green, manufacturers of wood stoves and boilers tout their products as sustainable.

“Wood is one of the most environmentally friendly fuels that can be used,” boasts the Stove Industry Alliance. “Virtually carbon neutral.”

The reality is more complicated. For industrial-scale burning – in power plants such as Drax in North Yorkshire, for example – burning wood pellets shipped in from the US was found to be worse for the climate than coal.

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For domestic boilers exterior of the cities, the government actively encourages wood burning through the renewable heat incentive subsidy. (This does not apply to the smaller wood stoves favoured in cities.) Those systems may bring some carbon savings, but only if the trees are replaced with new ones, and even then, it takes decades for the emitted carbon to be reabsorbed – a critical gap given the urgent need to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

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The picture is further complicated by the sooty black carbonin wood smoke, which is itself a driver of climate change, although less well-understood than carbon dioxide.

“There’s lots of caveats,” says Crilley, who believes wood’s climate benefit only comes in “an ideal world which doesn’t exist”.

Patricia Thornley, a professor of sustainable energy at the University of Manchester, argues that wood has an significant role to frolic in reducing carbon emissions from heat, because there are few excellent alternatives. But it’s not appropriate in city centres, she says.

If there is a benefit, it comes at a steep price.

Particle pollution is closely correlated with mortality rates: higher levels equal more deaths. And particles can travel endless distances: wood smoke from rural burning can affect the air in more densely populated places. Studies own found lower rates of death, and of heart and breathing problems, where domestic wood burning is limited.

Moreover, any climate acquire is premised on wood replacing a fossil fuel such as gas – a swap that, in the case of stoves or fireplaces, often isn’t the case.

Diy fake fireplace ideas

In cities, fires tend to be more of a lifestyle choice. “It’s the guy coming home from work and picking up a bottle of wine and some logs,” says Will Rolls, author of The Log Book. “You’re not competing against gas and oil, you’re competing against restaurants and cinemas.”

Adding to the harm is the reality that some owners use their stoves improperly, burning waste wood such as pallets, which often contains toxic chemicals, or using logs with high moisture content.

Opening up a Fireplace: The Quick Read

  1. Lining a chimney is typically essential before inserting a new appliance or running an open fire
  2. Many tasks such as installing a new appliance, adding a hearth, as well as structural tasks such as removing chimney breasts, need to comply with Building Regulations
  3. Smoke being blown back into the room, or ‘downdraught’, is one common problem, and could be the result of the flue being too freezing, or being of inadequate height or overshadowed by high buildings or trees


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