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Warm House, Cool Neighbours

It’s that time of year! Winter's approaching and wood heaters will start to fire up. But what can you do to eliminate unnecessary air pollution?

Wood heater

When they're used incorrectly wood burning heaters emit more pollutants/smoke and use fuel inefficiently.

Here's some simple rules to get a hot fire burning quickly and efficiently.

Before you use your wood heater

Have the flue cleaned if you can’t remember it being done recently. Build-up of soot can cause fires in the flue and will affect air flow causing smoky fires.

When starting a fire

  • Use plenty of paper and small, dry kindling under the wood to get to get a good fire.
  • Air intake on heater should be left fully opened for at least 30mins after lighting
  • Leave at least 2cm between pieces of wood

Keeping it going effectively

  • Reload wood regularly but don’t overfill
  • Keep fire burning brightly
  • Build small fires regularly and provide lots of air rather than one large fire
  • Check chimney for smoke, if there is smoke coming out of chimney, your heater is not burning efficiently, some light smoke should not last longer than 20 mins
  • Avoid shutting of the air intake as it will cause excessive smoke
  • Never let your fire smoulder overnight

Choosing wood

  • Make sure it is dry and well-seasoned. Unseasoned wood contains moisture which reduces the burning temperature and causes smoke
  • Purchase wood from a reputable firewood supplier
  • Hardwood such as Mallee and Redgum are preferable to softwoods
  • Store wood correctly

For more information on the correct use of wood heaters visit the EPA  or Home Heating Association websites. 

If you are affected by smoke from a wood heater, speak to your neighbour first as they may not be aware of the problem.

Contact Council’s Environmental Health Team on 5722 0888 more information.

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