Prepare and care for your wood heater this winter

Published: 08 May 2020 12:36pm

Residents who use wood heaters in winter are encouraged to follow Wagga Wagga City Council’s top tips in preparing and caring for your heater during the colder months ahead.

Council’s Environmental Education Officer Alice Kent is urging residents to make themselves familiar with some handy hints to ensure their heaters limit air pollution for the health and safety of all community members.

“Wood heaters can be a cost effective and comforting way to stay warm in winter, but if you don't use and look after your wood heater properly you could be causing air pollution,” Ms Kent said.

“This pollution can be harmful to people’s health so it's important to correctly use wood heaters.”

Ms Kent said when wood heaters are used correctly, pollution is minimal and can be limited to when the fire is started or wood is added.

“Starting the fire and adding more fuel are the times when there is the most pollution,” Ms Kent said.

“Outside of this there should be no disturbance to your neighbours and you'll be staying warm – but be sure to follow our handy tips to make sure your wood heater is working well.”

  • Get your flue checked and cleaned every year by a professional.
  • Open the air controls 5 minutes before and up to 20 minutes after loading the heater.
  • Never burn treated timber or household rubbish. Doing so can release dangerous chemicals into the air we all breathe.
  • Make sure your wood is dry.
  • Don't let your fire smoulder over night.
  • Visually check for smoke blowing from your chimney and make changes if it is emitting excessive smoke.

Council also reminds residents that firewood cannot be collected from roadsides or reserves and that fines may result.

  • Fallen timber plays an important role in ecosystem health through providing habitat for insects and native fauna.
  • Timber for wood heaters may be sourced from private property with the permission of the property owner, or purchased from a reputable supplier.
  • Reports of smoky chimneys can be made to Council on 1300 292 442.