Smoke reduces the quality of the air we breathe. Prolonged exposure to smoke from wood heaters is a significant problem for people who have chronic illnesses like asthma and heart conditions. In Tasmania, poor air quality is common during the colder months when the air is calm, as wood smoke tends to build up and linger for days, particularly in low-lying areas.
If you use a wood heater you can reduce smoke pollution and help your neighbours to breathe easier. Simply follow these steps to burn your wood heater brighter, warmer and cleaner, this winter:
- Always burn with a flame - don't let your fire smoulder
- After adding wood, open the air intake for 20 minutes, before shutting down for the night
- Only burn dry, seasoned wood
- Ensure your flue is clean
Reducing Smoke from your Wood Heater
We have a range of information about how to improve your wood heater usage.
EPA air monitoring data shows that some of the worst air quality is at night when people shut down the air intake before going to bed. Overnight, cold air traps the smoke in a layer around homes. By following the simple tips above, you can reduce smoke emissions from your wood heater by up to 90 percent, reducing the health risk to your neighbours.
This step-by-step printable guide explains how to light your wood heater.
Burn Brighter Fact Sheet - Wood heater use for reduced chimney smoke (PDF 2Mb)
Smoke Pollution and Health
The Department of Health maintains
smoke alerts and
health advice to people affected by smoke.
Tasmania has developed the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Smoke) Regulations 2019 to control the manufacture, importation for sale and sale of wood heaters prohibiting those that do not meet the current Australian Standards for efficiency, (AS/NZS 4012:2014) and emissions (AS/NZS 4013:2014).
The regulations also cover smoke from wood heaters, fireplaces, barbecues and backyard burning.
Additional information on the regulations is provided on the following pages:
Visit our other air pages for information about household wood smoke and air quality. We also provide
Real-time Air Quality Data.