With winter not very far away, Armidale Regional Council has reminded residents in the Armidale region to think about their home heating, and for households relying on wood heaters to prepare them so they burn cleanly and cost effectively.
Efficient wood heaters can provide considerable cost savings and reduce the amount of emissions released into the air, and there are some simple steps to reduce pollution and save money:
- Clean out your heater and flue, and check their condition.
- Buy dry, quality wood from a Firewood Association of Australia supplier
- Store wood somewhere dry
- Although the weather has been dry, it is still good to regularly test the moisture content of firewood.
Moisture meters will soon be available to borrow for free from the Armidale Regional War Memorial Library.
There are also products available to help wood heaters burn more efficiently and cleanly, such as SmartBurn tubes.
It is a good idea to regularly go outside and simply check how much smoke is coming out of your flue. Excessive smoke suggests the heater is causing unnecessary emissions.
High levels of smoke also indicate a wood heater is not burning efficiently - wasting wood and money.
Smoke from wood burning heaters can cause significant health effects, with scientific research showing long-term exposure can cause heart and lung disease and brief exposure can aggravate asthma or worsen pre-existing heart conditions.
If residents are affected by wood smoke from other houses, council might be able to assist. Councils can issue smoke abatement notices and fines to households with chimneys that appear to be emitting excessive smoke.
For further information, visit www.epa.gov/burnwise/energy-efficiency-and-your-wood-burningappliance or www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/factsheets/Pages/wood-smoke.aspx