Smoke reduces the quality of the air we breathe. Prolonged exposure to domestic wood smoke in Tasmania is a real problem for those who have chronic illnesses like asthma or heart conditions. Poor air quality is more common in many neighbourhoods during the colder months of winter when the air is calm and wood smoke builds up over several days.
Smoke from your chimney means that your wood heater is wasting fuel by not burning efficiently. Wasted fuel equals wasted money. It's also an offence to pollute the environment with an excessively smoky chimney.
There are things you can do to burn more efficiently, reduce smoke and help your neighbours breathe easier. Follow these simple steps and burn your wood heater brighter and warmer this winter:
- Only burn dry, seasoned firewood
- Always burn with a flame - don't let your fire smoulder
- After reloading, open the air control and burn your fire on high for 20 minutes, especially before going to bed
Following these simple tips can reduce your smoke by up to 90%.
Here are some useful resources to help you Burn Brighter this Winter.
- Burn Brighter this Winter step-by-step guide to operating a wood heater
- Burn Brighter this Winter: how to burn wood, reduce smoke by 90%, and keep your home warm. (duration: 3:41)
Information on the potential health impacts of wood smoke exposure is available from the Department of Health and Human Resources - Public Alert Page.
Information on the most recently available (real-time) indicative particle concentration data from the Tasmania air quality monitoring stations. Please follow this link to view Real-time air quality data for Tasmania.
Emissions of smoke from wood heaters are regulated in Tasmania. Details on the regulations are available in the pamphlet Improving Air Quality - Regulations on wood heater emissions.
Other information on the Regulations pertaining to wood heaters and smoke emissions can be found on the web page titled Reducing Air Pollution.
The EPA Division has developed a number of education resources for schools specifically on wood smoke that are aligned with the Australian Curriculum (Science). These resources can be found on the web page titled Resources for Schools.
The "Air Quality in Tasmania: an Education Resource" web site has been created as another education resource that aims to support teachers' and students' understanding about air quality issues specific to Tasmania. This resource can be found by following this link.
Burn Brighter this Winter is a community education project co-ordinated by EPA Tasmania to reduce wood smoke in areas that have persistent periods of poor air quality.