Excessive smoke from wood heaters can be a major contributor to air pollution. Smoke can be a nuisance to your neighbours and contains pollutants that are known to cause health hazards.

If smoke from a domestic wood heater is visible 10 metres or more from the chimney for at least 30 seconds at a time, as well as being generally visible for at least 10 minutes, it is in breach of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Distributed Atmospheric Emissions) Regulations 2007.

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 poorly operated wood heaters can be reduced as much as 80% by following a few simple steps. These include:

  • 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.


More information

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, you can let us know by completing the form online or filling in the form(PDF, 44KB) and returning it in one of the following ways:

  • email: coh@hobartcity.com.au
  • post: City of Hobart, GPO Box 503, Hobart Tasmania 7001
  • in person: Customer Service Centre, 16 Elizabeth Street, Hobart.