As the cooler weather sets in, Wingecarribee Shire Council is reminding residents to check their wood heaters before lighting up.
Council's Environment and Sustainability manager, Barry Arthur, said that faulty and incorrectly used wood heaters were major contributors to winter air pollution.
"Efficient wood heaters can provide considerable cost savings and reduce the amount of emissions released into the air," he said.
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"With people spending more time at home due to COVID-19, we want to ensure that everyone can stay warm and breathe easy this winter."
Simple steps to help run your wood heater hotter and cleaner include:
- Hire a chimney sweep to clean out your heater and flue
- Keep wood dry by storing it under cover in a shed, garage or under a tarp
- Only burn good dry seasoned hardwood sourced from a reputable supplier
- Don't cram the firebox full - allow air to circulate around the timber
- Don't let your fire smoulder, this creates excessive smoke
- Never burn painted or treated timber
- Never burn rubbish as it could create toxic smoke
- Keep your fire burning bright and check your chimney regularly
- If you see excessive smoke coming from your chimney, open the flue to allow more air into the firebox.
Mr Arthur said it was the responsibility of all owners to ensure their wood heaters were working correctly and they were doing their bit to minimise the harmful effects of smoke pollution on the environment and their neighbours.
Council has an education first approach to managing complaints about excessive smoke from household chimneys.
A Smoke Abatement Notice may be issued to households with chimneys that appear to be emitting excessive smoke.
For information visit www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/wood-smoke or phone Council on 4868 0888.