Tips to reduce wood smoke pollution

15 May, 2019Posted in: Environment

Wood fire smoke

With the chill of winter in the air, Wingecarribee Shire Council is reminding residents to check their wood heaters before they light up.

“Faulty and incorrectly used wood fire heaters are a major contributor to winter air pollution,” said Council’s Environment and Sustainability Manager, Mr Barry Arthur.

“Apart from the obvious health and community benefits of a properly burning fire, owners may also find their fireplaces run more effectively and economically if they follow a few simple steps,” he said.

Simple steps to help run your wood heater hotter and cleaner include:

  • Give your wood heater and flue an annual clean to help reduce smoke and the risk of chimney fires. A chimney sweep service can carry this out for you.
  • Keep wood dry by storing it undercover in a shed, garage or even under a tarp.
  • Only burn good dry seasoned hardwood sourced from a reputable supplier.
  • Don’t cram the firebox full – allow air to circulate around the timber.
  • Don’t let your fire smoulder, this creates excessive smoke.
  • Never burn painted or treated timber.
  • Never burn rubbish as it could create toxic smoke.
  • Keep your fire burning bright and check your chimney regularly. If you see excessive smoke coming from your chimney, open the flue to allow more air into the firebox.

“It’s the responsibility of all owners to ensure their wood heaters are working correctly and they’re doing their bit to minimise the harmful effects of smoke pollution on the environment and their neighbours,” Mr Arthur added.

For information about wood heaters and reducing wood smoke visit or phone Council on 4868 0888.