Wood Heaters - Do it Right for Everybody's Sake

Wood heaters are a great way to heat your home, however smoke from wood heaters can also be a major source of pollution.

Wood smoke can be a nuisance not only around your home but also in your neighbourhood.  It is also a health hazard because wood smoke can contain fine particles and toxic compounds that can cause respiratory problems.

Here are some simple tips for getting your wood heater to burn brightly:

  • Use several small logs instead of one large one and stack them loosely so that air can circulate around them.
  • Use seasoned, untreated wood. Unseasoned wood contains moisture which causes smoke.
  • Don’t burn rubbish, driftwood, painted or treated wood.
  • Get a hot fire going quickly and use plenty of paper and small kindling to start.
  • Open air controls fully when lighting and loading and keep air controls open enough to ensure your fire is burning brightly.
  • Maintain a bright flame, never let your heater smoulder.
  • Check your chimney regularly, if there is a lot of smoke then increase the air supply to your fire.
  • Have your chimney cleaned regularly to prevent creosote build-up.

Further Information

Woodsmoke-brochure (PDF) (3 MB)
For further information on the environmental and health impacts of wood smoke, please visit:
Reducing wood smoke emissions - www.epa.nsw.gov.au/woodsmoke
Wood burning heaters and your health - www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/factsheets/Pages/wood-smoke.aspx