Wood Smoke Isn’t Good Smoke

Kempsey Shire Council
Winter is here and so is the wood smoke from wood burning stoves across the Shire.
Although wood heaters are a much-loved and comforting way to heat your home, they do need to be managed responsibly to minimise smoke, which causes air pollution and can impact the health of your neighbours.

Here are some tips on how to make a difference:

  • Use several small logs instead of one large one and stack: this ensures plenty of airflow, a hot bright fire, and less smoke.
  • Use seasoned, untreated wood: seasoned wood means wood that has been left to dry for an extended period of time in order for the wood to be low enough in moisture to burn well.
  • Don’t burn rubbish, painted or treated wood: this wood is full of toxic chemicals, which when burnt can affect the health of you, your family, and everyone around you.
  • Get a hot fire going quickly: a hot fire burns cleanly with little smoke.
  • Open the air controls fully when lighting and reloading the fire: when you close the air controls on your fire it reduces the amount of air, which increases the amount of smoke. Experts recommend you don’t let your fire smoulder overnight for the same reason.
  • Have your chimney cleaned regularly: your chimney can get clogged with creosote and other materials, decreasing the effectiveness of your fire, and increasing smoke.
  • Update your wood heater: new heaters are cleaner burning and more efficient than older-style wood heaters and open fires.

Smoke from wood heaters is a major cause of air pollution. Not only is a smoking fire wasting your money, but the air pollution it causes can also affect our health.

Wood smoke contains a number of noxious gases (including carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, and a range of organic compounds, some of which are toxic or carcinogenic) and fine particles, which go deep into the lungs.

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