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Effective Use of Wood Heaters

Wood HeaterKeeping Warm in Winter

During winter the use of a domestic wood heater is a popular choice for home heating. All wood heaters when operated well can provide an efficient way to heat your home and should produce heat without smoke. However, excess smoke produced can increase the levels of air pollution and lead to poor air quality. Managing a wood heater takes time, effort and planning.

You can help to improve air quality in your local area and ensure your community breathes easier by operating your wood heater by using the following 7 Hot Tips to manage your wood heater more efficiently:

  1. Use dry, seasoned, untreated wood. The wood should make a 'crack' when struck together, not a 'dull thud'.
  2. Stack wood under cover in a dry ventilated area.
  3. Use small logs and place them in your heater in such a way that ensures air can circulate freely.
  4. Burn the fire brightly. Run the heater on a high burn rate (air control fully open) for 5 minutes before and 15 to 20 minutes after adding wood.
  5. Don't let your heater smoulder overnight - keep the air control open enough to maintain a flame. A well insulated house will stay warmer longer.
  6. It is also important to regularly check the chimney of the heater to ensure excessive amounts of smoke are not being emitted.
  7. Clean your flue or chimney at least once a year to remove tar and soot build up - this will increase the heat of your fire and reduce smoke emissions.

For additional information refer to the EPA's fact sheet:

Household - Wood Smoke

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