Wood smoke pollution can be harmful to peoples’ health. If you own a wood heater, you should try to reduce your smoke emissions.  

You can reduce wood smoke pollution by using the right wood heater, using it correctly and maintaining it well.  

  • Buy wood heaters that meet the Australian Standards for heat efficiency ‘AS 4012’ and smoke emissions ‘AS 4013’.  
  • Use a licensed professional to install your heater. 
  • Have your flue professionally checked and cleaned before winter.  
  • Follow your wood heater’s manufacturer instructions. 
  • Use small logs and dry, seasoned, untreated hardwood.  
  • Don’t pack the heater too full. This allows air to circulate and burn properly.  
  • Get a hot fire going quickly with plenty of paper and small kindling.  
  • Keep the air controls set high enough to keep the fire burning brightly and efficiently.  
  • Don’t leave your heater to smoulder overnight. This starves the fire of oxygen, producing more smoke and air pollution.  
  • Check your chimney occasionally for smoke emissions.  
  • Reduce use of your wood heater or fireplace. Consider alternative heating if available, especially on still and calm days.  

You should also consider your neighbours’ health when using a wood heater. You have an obligation to reduce smoke from wood heating. 

Consider using gas heaters instead. Gas heaters produce less pollution than wood heaters.  

Find out more about your obligation to reduce smoke from wood heating. 

Resources for reducing wood smoke pollution

The Australian Home Heating Association can help you find a certified wood heater that meets the: 

  • AS 4012 standard  
  • AS 4013 standard.  

Sustainability Victoria can help you use less energy. Contact them on 1300 363 744.

The Australian Government give guidance on wood smoke – Wood-Smoke handbook: Woodheaters, firewood and operator practice.

For chimney sweeps and other wood heater services, speak to a qualified professional.  

Find out more about wood smoke 

How wood smoke causes pollution

Reviewed 18 December 2019