Wood smoke information

Published Monday, 11th June 2018

Information for residents on smoke from wood heaters, and impacts it may have on health.

Chimney emitting smoke.

The City receives many calls from residents each winter about smoke from wood heaters impacting on their health. Wood heater owners have a responsibility to ensure their wood heater operates correctly and only burn dry, seasoned firewood. Chimineas and pizza ovens also need to be operated correctly.

When we breathe in wood smoke, a fraction of the smoke particles are retained in our lungs. These fine particles are particularly dangerous to people who have existing respiratory problems as well as the very young and the elderly. Even if you are healthy you can still be negatively affected by wood smoke, causing you to feel lethargic and generally unwell.

You can reduce the amount of smoke pollution from your chimney by:

  • Keeping woodpiles under cover.
  • Never burning green, wet or treated firewood.
  • Checking your chimney for smoke.
  • Starting your fire with dry kindling and with the wood heater air control fully open.
  • Keeping the fire burning brightly.

A correctly operated wood heater should not produce visible smoke, except for a short time on lighting.

Further information on how to operate domestic wood heaters to minimise smoke emissions into the air can be found on the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s website.

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