Smokeless fuels needn’t just be a choice for those living in smoke control areas. Everyone who enjoys having a traditional fire as the heart of the home can take advantage of the benefits of burning smokeless fuels.
Smokeless fuels are not only manufactured but they can also be found naturally in the form of anthracite. Anthracite has a very high carbon content, sometimes as high as 98%, which means that it contains less volatile materials and therefore does not give off any thick smoke when burned. Anthracite is a complex, shiny fuel that burns with maximum efficiency and a glowing flame.
Manufactured smokeless fuels are often anthracite based, with the natural product ground down into a powder. They are then re-formed into briquettes using smokeless binding agents such as starch or molasses. They are more versatile than anthracite as they can be used on many different appliances, including multi-fuel stoves, room heaters and open fires. HouseFuel’s Smokeless Ovals burn with an excellent dancing flame.
As the name suggests, smokeless fuels have been designed with the environment in mind, and they became more popular after the 1956 Clean Air Act, which was an attempt to improve the air quality in towns and cities after the ‘Great Smog’ of London in 1952. A smokeless fuel has to conform to this and subsequent acts to produce less than 5g of smoke per hour of burning. All this means that when smokeless fuel is burnt, it releases fewer emissions. Compared to ordinary house coal, they can release up to 20% less carbon dioxide.
However, environmental improvements are not the only benefit of smokeless fuels. Their composition means that they can also provide a much more efficient fire. Their high carbon content means less ash is remaining after you have used your appliance, which means emptying the grate needs to be done less often.
Smokeless fuels can give up to a third more heat than standard house coal and can also burn for up to 40% longer. This means they can burn hotter for longer, meaning you need to refuel your appliance less often. Less refuelling also means that smokeless fuels can be more cost-effective than your standard house coal.