This page explains how air quality and wood quality are related, and lists tips for ensuring your woodburner is used efficiently.
The Tasman District and Nelson City Councils promote reducing air pollution through the Good Wood Supplier scheme. It is a joint project between the Councils and wood suppliers, who undertake to supply firewood according to best practice and contribute to improving air quality in Nelson and Richmond.
If your current burner is over 10 years old it may need replacing - modern burners are more efficient. Cleaner forms of heating include heat pumps, flued gas or pellet fires.
To use your existing solid fuel burner in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way, do not burn any of the following:
Take these items to a Resource Recovery Centre to be disposed of safely either by recycling or safe landfilling.
Burning of such items is prohibited under the following rules:
Good outdoor air quality is fundamental to our well-being.
On average, a person inhales about 14,000 litres of air every day, and the presence of contaminants in this air can adversely affect people’s health. People with pre-existing respiratory and heart conditions, diabetes, the young, and older people are particularly vulnerable.
Tasman communities can have poor air quality in winter and this pollution is measured as excessive amounts of small particles in the air (PM10).
The major cause of this poor air quality is emissions from domestic open fires and enclosed burners.
The way people manage their wood supplies and what they burn plays a significant part in determining how much of these particles are produced.
Read more about air quality on the Ministry for the Environment website.
This helps your fire burn more efficiently. Make sure the flue is insulated, is high enough to let smoke and gases disperse and does not have a 'hat'.
Check your home insulation to keep the warmth in.
Green wood will not burn efficiently, leaving you with a cold house and smoky fire! Striking two pieces of wood together is a good way to check if it is dry enough. Dry wood will give a resonant crack and wet wood will make a dull thud.
Store wood in a dry place and stack it loosely off the ground in a criss-cross pattern to let dry air circulate around it.
Don't bank down your fire overnight. Tests have shown it does not add to the warmth of your home but greatly increases polluting emissions releasing higher levels of organic compounds.
This guide provides information about the effects of smoke from wood burners and how to reduce them.
The guide explains: