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Wood Heaters

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Smoke from wood heaters is a contributor of air pollution and can harm the environment and your health. The following are handy hints to reducing wood smoke pollution:

  • Don’t let your heater smoulder overnight – keep enough air in the fire to maintain a flame.
  • Burn only dry, aged hardwood in your wood heater. Unseasoned wood has lots of moisture, which causes a fire to smoke.
  • Store your wood under cover in a dry, ventilated area. Freshly cut wood needs to be stored for at least eight to twelve months.
  • Never burn rubbish, driftwood or painted or treated wood. These are sure to pollute the air and can produce poisonous gases.
  • When lighting a cold heater, use plenty of dry kindling to establish a good fire quickly.
  • Use several small logs rather than one large log and stack them loosely in your heater so air can circulate around them. Don’t cram the firebox full. 
  • Keep the flame lively and bright. Your fire should only smoke when you first light it and when you add extra fuel. Open the air controls fully for 5 minutes before and 15 to 20 minutes after reloading the heater.
  • Check your chimney regularly to see how well your fire is burning. If there is smoke coming from the chimney, increase the air supply to your fire.
  • Have the chimney cleaned every year to prevent creosote build-up.
  • If you are buying a wood heater, make sure it has a compliance plate showing it meets the Australian Standard (AS/NZS 4013:1999).

More detailed information is available from the Wood-Smoke handbook: Wood heaters, firewood and operator practice on the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website. You can visit it here:

Wood heater installation

Homeowners are required by law to obtain permission from Council before installing a wood burning heater. If you would like to install a wood burning heater please contact Council.