Woodfire heaters and air quality


Woodfires are an economic and efficient way to heat your home during winter but they can pollute the air by releasing very small particles and gases into the atmosphere. 

Air quality can be impacted by:

  • Excessively smoky chimneys
  • Unpleasant odours caused by burning inappropriate materials

These two issues are both connected to the use of inappropriate fuels and/or poorly run and maintained heaters.

When the air quality is affected, it can be harmful to our health so it is important to follow the below simple tips to ensure your woodfire is warming your house effectively and healthily and not polluting the air for you, your neighbours and the wider community:


  • Only use dry, seasoned, untreated wood. Hard wood is best.
  • Maintain your wood heater with regular services
  • Make sure your baffle plate is clear of ash
  • Regularly clean your flue before and during winter
  • Keep about two centimetres of ash at the base of your wood heater for easier lighting.
  • When first lighting your fire, open up the air control to let it burn on high for the first 20-30 minutes
  • Always burn with a flame
  • After reloading, open the air control to burn on High for 20 minutes
  • Only reduce air flow when there’s a hot bed of charcoal.


  • Burn treated wood
  • Burn timber from building materials or furniture
  • Burn household rubbish
  • Burn damp, unseasoned wood
  • Ever shut off the air control completely
  • Let your fire smoulder, especially overnight (this produces little heat but a lot of pollution)

What to do if you are concerned about air quality in your neighbourhood

If you suspect that the air quality is being impacted by a woodfire in your neighbourhood, it is always worth a friendly visit to your neighbour for a chat, most often, people are not aware of the negative impact their wood smoke is causing.

If this isn't an option or you don't feel comfortable with this approach, you can contact us with all of the relevant details and we will follow up this request for you.