Wood smoke pollution can be harmful to people’s health. Wood heater owners have an obligation to reduce smoke from wood heating. You should also consider:

  • your neighbours’ health when using a wood heater
  • other ways of heating your house, especially on calm days with not much wind. Smoke from wood heaters can build up in these conditions.

To reduce smoke emissions, always follow the steps to use your wood heater in the right way.

How to choose the right wood heater

Use a certified wood heater. This helps reduce wood smoke emissions. Use a wood heater that meets the Australian Standard for heat efficiency ‘AS 4012’ and smoke emissions ‘AS 4013’. The Australian Home Heating Association has information on how to find certified wood heaters that meet these standards.

Make sure a licensed professional installs your heater, using the Australian Standard for installing wood heaters. Follow your wood heater’s manufacturer instructions.  

How to maintain your wood heater well

Maintaining your wood heater well helps reduce wood smoke emissions. 

Check your chimney occasionally for smoke emissions. Make sure creosote doesn’t build up in your wood heater's flue. Creosote is leftover mixed char and oil that burning wood produces. Over time, it can block the flue. This means less air flows through the flue and the wood heater emits more smoke. Clean your flue before winter, professionally if needed.

Ash can also build up on top of your wood heater's baffle plate. The baffle plate is the metal part inside the top of the wood heater. It helps produce more heat when burning wood. Ash on the baffle plate stops the wood heater from working well

Make sure the baffle plate is clear of ash before using your wood heater each winter. You can self clean your wood heater's baffle plate. Take a metal coat hanger and bend it so you can sweep around and clear ash from  the baffle plate.

Find out more about Wood smoke aware, neighbour care

About wood smoke pollution

Report smoke

Smoke and the law

How to choose the right wood for your wood heater 

Reviewed 22 January 2021