Wood fire heating

Tips to burn right tonight, as described in the text on this page.Burn right tonight

The smoke from burning wood contains a range of pollutants which are harmful to people's health and the environment.

Whether your wood heater is new or old, it is important to maintain and correctly operate it to reduce the smoke it emits. By taking some key steps you can minimise the smoke your heater produces and it’s impacts on our air quality and the health of our community.

Using your wood heater correctly will improve Canberra's air quality, save you money, and keep your home warm during winter.

Smoke from domestic wood heaters is an environmental and health issue, linked to several serious health conditions including asthma, chronic lung disease, heart problems and premature births and deaths. In winter, smoke from domestic wood heaters is the main source of air pollution.

Tips for better burning:

  • Have your flue swept by a professional chimney sweep ahead of the winter season
  • Buy wood from a reputable firewood merchant that is dry, well-seasoned and untreated, and store it in a well-ventilated covered space
  • Always start your fire with the control fully open and use plenty of kindling to make a hot fire quickly
  • Place logs in the firebox with enough space between them to allow good air flow
  • Use smaller logs when reloading and allow the fire to burn on high for 20-25 minutes
  • Don’t overfill your heater with wood
  • Don't let your fire smoulder overnight. Make sure to keep the air control open enough to maintain a flame (a fire set on low causes excessive smoke pollution).

Replacement and rebate program

Through the Wood Heater Replacement program, you can receive a rebate of up to $1,250 for replacing your wood heater with an efficient electric heater.

Firewood merchants

Taking firewood from parks and reserves is illegal. There are hefty penalties in place for those who are caught cutting native trees or removing wood.

Firewood merchants are regulated under the Environment Protection Act 1997 and must comply with the requirements as set out in Section 14 of the Environment Protection Regulation 2005. These requirements include that the merchant must supply customers with seasoned wood, it must be offered and supplied by weight (not by volume) and each customer must be given a written statement of the weight of the load supplied and a pamphlet supplied by the Environment Protection Authority that sets out recommended wood burning practices and encourages compliance with those practices.