Wood heater smoke

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Wood heaters add warmth, comfort and atmosphere to homes and are a staple through the winter months for many households.

However, excessive wood heater smoke can reduce the quality of the air we breathe and impact on our health. Smoke from wood heaters can also be a major contributor to air pollution and may be a nuisance to neighbours.

EPA Tasmania's Burn Brighter this Winter campaign offers advice and information on how to enjoy your wood heater without the problem-causing excessive smoke.

There are products on the market that help make wood heaters burn more efficiently and reduce the amount of pollution emitted. Having your flue swept annually will keep it in good working order and free from build-up. Operating your wood heater correctly is the key to clean and efficient heating.

Smoke from wood heaters can be reduced by as much as 80 per cent by following a few simple steps, such as:

  • never let the fire smoulder
  • only using well-seasoned, dry fire wood
  • don't shut your fire right down when you go to bed
  • burn the fire on high for 20 minutes after adding wood
  • check your heater complies with relevant Australian Standards
  • always keep the air vents open enough to keep some flame.

If smoke from a domestic wood heater is visible 10 metres or more from the chimney for at least 30 seconds at a time, and is generally visible for at least 10 minutes, it is in breach of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Smoke) Regulations 2019.

More information

Step-by-step guide to healthier home heating 

View Air Quality on the EPA website.

The Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides more information on the potential health impacts of wood smoke exposure.

The DHHS also provides public health alerts for air quality.  

If you have an issue with a smoky wood heater from a neighbouring property, report it by completing the online form. A printable form is available on our forms page.