Wood Smoke Stories

Smoked out by a Defra-approved stove

I have had an allergy to cigarette smoke for many years but well managed up until December 2022 by using a nasal rinse when necessary. Only occasionally really. In December 2022 the neighbour installed a massive multiburner using an installed flue which only just reached above their house eaves. The flue exit is very close to our bedroom window.

They then burnt wet wood for a month 24 hours a day. No respite. Swore at us when we asked them to check what was coming out of that flue and refused to consider burning at night only. Did buy kiln dried wood after realising their smoke was black but used up the wet wood at night. The stove is Defra approved even for smoke control areas. But approved on the basis of around 25 hours a week! Not 24 hours a day.

The legislation regarding these stoves is pathetic, the approval of these stoves appears to be a sham. In England there’s currently no way to stop someone producing a massive amount of particulate pollution when the smoke cannot be seen. This is what happened to us all last winter and will probably start again in September.

Three air purifiers in the house, no ventilation possible, caused mould for the first time ever. Mask wearing in the garden. And nasal rinse continuously, steroid nose spray, antihistamine, steroid medicine plus two lots of antibiotics together all the horrible side effects from medication. Dirty windows all round the house.

The particles get through the original windows and the secondary double glazing. Soot on the walls. Washing smutted. Loads of lost sleep and all so that another person could save money on heating and yet live in summer clothes through the winter. It’s pretty grim. I hope the price of wood and other solid fuel goes sky high through too much demand.