Fireplaces & Their Effect On The Environment

It might seem a cruel piece of legislation to introduce at this time of the year, with winters icy hand lingering, but the Greek government have imposed restrictions on the use of solid fuel burning fireplaces due to the emissions and the smog clouds which choke the air as a result. More Greeks have been using solid fuel to create fires in their homes as, in the midst of an economic crash, they cannot afford to heat their homes any other way.

Call The Police?

The policy has raised questions about how it will be policed – will police patrol the streets? Can homes be inspected on the spot? But while Greece wrestles with this new environmentally friendly policy during an economic low, other countries are looking at imposing a similar ruling. With an open, wood burning fireplace seen as something of a luxury, more and more people want that picturesque living room, possibly with the family pet outstretched in front of the fire.


One valley in California has a restriction in place based on certain days depending on how bad the air pollution levels are. It’s hard to argue with the figures too; whether you’re using wood or wood pellets, the efficiency of your fire is far less than that of gas or oil fireplaces. As part of the push for a greener future you can’t deny that the banning of burning excessive amounts of wood and solid material is a good thing, but quite whether the Greek idea of fining up to €2,500 is the right way forward is debatable.

In The UK

If you haven’t heard about the smoke controlled areas of the UK then it might be worth checking out the website of your local authority to establish if you fall into one of these areas. Perhaps what we should be looking to do now is find a way in which we can still have the luxury of heating our homes, with a fireplace of our choice, but use multi-fuel fireplaces with smokeless fuels or even high efficiency gas fireplaces.

Whether Greece can turn their seemingly harsh policy into something that encourages responsible use of fireplaces by the Greek people remains to be seen, but in countries where we often consider a new fireplace or want to update a fireplace when we move in to a new home, it seems there are affordable alternatives to smoke churning wood fires.

Efficient Fireplaces

A high efficiency fireplace does exactly what it says on the tin: you get heat for your home but with greater efficiency and therefore less impact on the environment as a whole. No one is trying to deny you the comfort of a wood burning fire however, and if you’d like to keep that traditional log fire roaring you can always have a multi-fuel fire installed in which you can burn smokeless fuels.

Both of these allow you to operate within the law if you are in a smoke-controlled area and you get to keep your home warm through the long, dark winter months.


This post is brought to you by EnviroFlame of Wimbledon,

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