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Wood heaters and smoke complaints

Wood heaters and smoke complaints

Residents who use a wood heater to warm their home in winter should follow this advice to protect the health and safety of their family. Wood heaters can also bother your neighbours by emitting smelly smoke, and reducing air quality.

Complain about smoke from wood heaters

We investigate complaints about wood heaters that may be a public health nuisance, and provide advice to wood heater owners to address issues.

To make a confidential complaint:

Tips for wood heater users

  • Use a registered plumber to install your wood heater or a person with a restricted plumber’s license in roof plumbing/wood heater installation.
  • If buying fire wood to use immediately, buy dry seasoned, untreated timber. Unseasoned wood can have up to 50 per cent moisture content so it’s hard to ignite, slow to burn and produces smoke and less heat.
  • To save money, you can buy unseasoned fire wood in early spring to use the following winter. If you do this, ensure you store the wood undercover in a criss-cross pattern to dry out for 8 to 12 months before use.
  • Conduct regular maintenance checks and have your chimney professionally cleaned at least once a year, especially before the start of winter.
  • Do not burn garden clippings, household rubbish, painted or treated timber or particle board.
  • Occasionally check the amount of smoke coming from your chimney. There should not be continuous visible smoke after 20 minutes of operation.
  • If the smoke is continuous and visible, book a maintenance check or replace your wood heater.
  • You may need a license or permit to collect timber from public land. For more information, visit the Department of Sustainability and Environment website or call 136 186.
  • Get more tips to reduce smoke from your wood heater.