When the cold weather hits, wood heaters are often used to heat our homes. However, if not installed or operated correctly, they can produce excessive smoke which is a major contributor to air pollution.

What is woodsmoke?

Woodsmoke is often seen as a brown atmospheric haze in the atmosphere on still, cool, winter mornings. During winter, wood heaters can produce up to seven times as much particle pollution as cars. Wood smoke contains a number of noxious gases (including carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, and a range of organic compounds), some of which are toxic or carcinogenic and fine particles, which may go deep into the lungs.

Reduce your woodsmoke pollution

While many families use a wood heater to stay warm during the winter months, there are a number of simple actions that your family can do to operate your wood heater effectively and reduce wood smoke in the Singleton area. To minimise pollutants the Environment Protection Authority (NSW EPA) advise to not dampen down your fire overnight. With the air intake closed, the fire is starved of oxygen and cannot burn properly.

To further reduce your wood smoke pollution:

  • Use only small logs of seasoned, untreated wood
  • Store wood under cover in a dry, ventilated area
  • Use several small logs rather than one large log
  • Increase the air supply if you see your chimney smoking
  • Maintain a bright flame, never let your heater smoulder
  • Never burn rubbish, driftwood, treated or painted wood, which can pollute the air and can be poisonous.
  • Check your chimney regularly.

You can find out more about wood smoke at NSW EPA.