If you want a coal-burning fireplace in your UK home you will need to source smokeless coal as your choice of fuel. This is because it is now illegal to burn any other type of coal in the UK under the clean air act, brought in to help alleviate the problem with smog and pollution that caused the untimely death of innumerable residents.
Fortunately for those who do have a home stove or open fireplace, smokeless coal is actually more economical, burns longer and hotter and costs much less than any alternative.
Smokeless coal does need to be used properly and there are some common mistakes that we see happen quite often. These are the mistakes you need to avoid:
- Not clearing the grate between each use
Smokeless coal requires the same conditions to burn the same as any other type of coal. Without an unrestricted airflow running through the fire it will be difficult to light, will not burn well and will extinguish itself easily. To ensure this doesn’t happen, make sure you clear out the ash and debris left over form the previous fire before lighting a new one.
- Mixing smokeless coal with other fuels
A lot of people mix their smokeless coal with firewood but the two fuels have different requirements to burn and the combination of the two in your fire will lead to a very inefficient burn. Coal requires airflow through it whilst wood only requires air above in order to burn.
Firewood contains a small level of moisture that can combine with the sulphur in the smokeless coal, creating an acid that can prompt premature linear failure as the flue liner is broken down.
- Burning damp smokeless coal
There are a number of reasons your smokeless coal can gather moisture; whether it is left out in bad weather, or left to sweat in a plastic bag in high temperatures, what’s important is that you store your smokeless coal until it is completely dry before burning it. Just a small amount of moisture will make it harder to light and will burn at a very low rate