Wintry weather is just around the corner, and it’s time for people in the Armidale region to think about their home heating.
Households with wood heaters should start preparing it for winter, to ensure it burns efficiently and cost effectively.
Wood heaters that are clean and operating properly will burn more efficiently, which can provide considerable cost savings and reduce the amount of emissions released into the air.
There are simple steps to reduce pollution, save money and heat homes more effectively: clean out your heater and flue, and check their condition.
Buy dry, quality wood – preferably from a Firewood Association of Australia supplier – and store it 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’s a good idea to regularly go outside and check how much smoke is coming out of the flue. Excessive smoke suggests the heater is causing unnecessary emissions.
Smoke from wood burning heaters can cause significant health effects. Scientific research shows long-term exposure can cause heart and lung disease, and brief exposure can aggravate asthma or worsen pre-existing heart conditions.
Using a wood burning heater affects air quality both inside and outside the home, but using it correctly can reduce the effects.
High levels of smoke also indicate a wood heater is not burning efficiently – wasting wood and money.
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-burning-appliance or www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/factsheets/Pages/wood-smoke.aspx