Wood heaters

Wood heater owners have a responsibility to ensure that their wood heater operates correctly. An excessively smoky wood heater causes reduced air quality and significant health impacts. The fine particles produced by wood smoke are particularly dangerous to people who have existing respiratory problems, such as those with asthma.

A correctly operated wood heater shouldn't emit any smoke apart from a short time after it is lit. Always go outside and check your chimney to see if it is smoky. You can use the Department of Environment Regulation's 'chimney checker' to assist.

Try these tips to reduce smoke from your wood heater:

  • Store firewood in a dry place.
  • Burn only dry seasoned wood, and never rubbish or treated wood.
  • Use plenty of kindling and paper to establish a hot bright fire quickly. 
  • Leave space inside the firebox for air to circulate.
  • Keep air controls fully open for 15-20 minutes are lighting or refuelling.
  • Maintain airflow to the fire all night.
  • Clean your chimney annually.
  • Buy a wood heater compliant with Australian Standards (clearly labelled with the words ‘TESTED TO AS/NZS 4013:2014’).
  • Consider installing a flued gas heater or reverse cycle air conditioner instead.


For further information please refer to the Department of Environment Regulation's 
Burnwise program website or brochure(PDF, 1MB) or the Air & Dust Pollution page.