Central Heating Boiler Stoves

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What are boiler stoves?

Boiler stoves are woodburning or multifuel stoves that have the addition of a boiler, which can supply your domestic hot water and run your central heating system. They can also be linked up with a new or existing central heating system, so that multiple sources of heat can supply your heating requirements and therefore reduce your reliance on using gas or oil. Boiler stoves can even be linked with underfloor heating and solar panels. The stove itself will need to be fitted in the same manner as a non-boiler stove i.e. connected to a flue liner.



Boiler stoves generally provide a higher output to the boiler than to the actual stove. Each stove will have its own output rating to the boiler and a separate output rating to the stove, and often an indication of its heating capability e.g. number of radiators it can heat. Always use the nominal output rather than the maximum output when finding the right size stove, as this is the output at which the stove would normally be run.


Types of Boilers

The types of boilers available are:


  • Integral (also referred to as wraparound) boilers that are factory fitted and form part of the stove body.
  • Clip in boilers that are provided as an option with the stove and are fitted as an add-on to the stove on request.


As clip in boilers are removable, they are smaller and so do not have as high an output as integral boilers.



We highly recommend gaining advice on the right size boiler stove for your property and heating requirements from a qualified heating engineer. The stove and flue lining will need to be fitted by a HETAS engineer. If the engineer is registered to install wet appliances, as well as dry, they will also be able to connect the boiler to the water/heating system. If not you will need to use a qualified plumber to complete this part of the installation.


DEFRA Approved Stoves

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What is DEFRA?

DEFRA stands for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and is a government department in the UK.

“Defra was formed in June 2001 when the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) was merged with part of the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) and with a small part of the Home Office. In October 2008, the climate team at Defra was merged with the energy team from the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) to create the Department of Energy and Climate Change.” (Source: http://www.defra.gov.uk)

Smoke Control Areas

As part of the Clean Air Act smoke control areas were introduced to deal with air pollution in 1950s and 60s – caused by coal fires in homes and industrial buildings. Local authorities decide whether to make all of a district or just part of a district a smoke control area.

If you are in a smoke control area you are not allowed to burn fuels in a fireplace, stove, furnace or boiler that may cause smoke. If you are in a smoke controlled area and found to be burning fuels that create smoke, you could be fined £1000 each time you do this.

By law you are not allowed to sell fuels that create smoke, to anyone within a smoke control area – who doesn’t have an exempt appliance.

DEFRA Approved Stoves

In a smoke control area, a solid fuel heating appliance must be a DEFRA approved, exempt appliance, using only fuel specified in the appliance instructions.

Exempt appliances are tested by DEFRA to show that they meet the smoke control standards for emissions when burning non-authorised smokeless fuels, such as wood.

If you live in a smoke control area but do not have a DEFRA approved appliance you must only burn authorised fuels – anthracite being a popular choice, it is high in carbon and low in volatile matter. A full list of exempt fuels is available on the DEFRA website.

For a list of DEFRA approved stoves, please visit the DEFRA website.

DEFRA Installations

If you live in a smoke control area and wish to install a woodburning stove, the stove installed must adhere to the rules above. If you do not live in a smoke control area then you are not affected at all by this law, but if you do purchase a stove that happens to be DEFRA approved, you can be assured of a clean burning, high efficiency stove.

Before 1st October 2010, building regulations stated that all stoves (wood or multifuel) must be fitted with a minimum 6″ diameter flue system. However as of 1st October 2010 you can install a 5″ diameter flue system ONLY if the connecting stove is DEFRA approved and has a 5″ flue outlet.

To clarify, if you are installing a non DEFRA approved stove with a 6″ diameter flue system, it is perfectly normal for the stove to have a 5″ flue outlet. In this case the piece of flue pipe that connects to the stove with be 5″ and then you must use a 5″-6″ adaptor that will connect the 5″ flue pipe to the 6″ system. This still complies with building regulations.

What to burn in Smoke Control Areas 

Wood is not a smokeless fuel, therefore in a smoke controlled zone can only be burnt on a DEFRA approved appliance. However unseasoned or wet wood will burn inefficiently with a lot of smoke. Look for HETAS approved wood or wood that has a moisture content of lower than 25% to be sure you are not failing to adhere to rules.

If you live in a smoke control area but do not have a DEFRA approved appliance you must only burn authorised fuels – anthracite being a popular choice, it is high in carbon and low in volatile matter. A full list of exempt fuels is available on the DEFRA website.

You are legally only allowed to use certain types of fuel in a smoke control area, on a non DEFRA approved appliance – these are:

  • anthracite
  • semi-anthracite
  • gas
  • low volatile steam coals

You can find details of fuels that are approved within smoke control areas on the DEFRA website.


Do I Live in a Smoke Controlled Area?

To find out if you live in a smoke control area, DEFRA recommend contacting the Environmental Health or Protection department of your Local Authority.


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