Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Air - NSW overview

Dos and don'ts of wood heating




DoCheck your heater complies with the Australian Standard for pollution emissions (AS 4013:1999)Don'tDon't use old inefficient heaters that don't comply with pollution standards
  Don'tDon't use open fires

DoBurn only, dry seasoned hardwoodDon'tDon't burn coal, coke or moist wood
Do Check your wood is dry by tapping it with a coin. You should hear a loud, hollow sound.Don'tDon't burn rubbish or painted or treated wood
DoUse a number of small logs in your heaterDon't Don't burn just one log

DoStore freshly cut wood for eight to twelve months before useDon'tDon't use green wood
DoStore wood under cover in a dry ventilated areaDon'tDon't store your wood where it is exposed to water or moisture

DoBe aware of the source of your woodDon'tDon't harvest wood in a way that threatens vegetation and animal habitats
DoAsk your wood seller to verify whether wood for immediate use is aged and dry  

DoStack wood loosely in your fire box, so plenty of air circulates around itDon'tDon't pack wood too tightly in the firebox
DoKeep the flame lively and brightDon'tDon't let your fire smoulder
DoOpen the air controls fully for 5 minutes before and 15 to 20 minutes after loading the heaterDon'tDon't keep the vent closed when you add fuel

DoKeep enough air in the fire to maintain a flame or let it go out overnightDon'tDon't dampen down your fire or let it smoulder overnight
DoRely on your home's insulation to hold in enough heat for the nightDon't Don't allow creosote to build up in the flue, increasing the risk of a chimney fire.
Do Check your chimney regularly to see how well your fire is burning.  If it is smoky, increase the air supply  
Do Clean the woodheater flue and baffle regularly  

Page last updated: 18 June 2013