The two main air pollution issues handled by local government are odour complaints and smoke from wood fires.
The correct operation of a heater not only means more efficient burning and heating, but also reduced chimney smoke which may cause a nuisance to nearby residents.
Some of the ways in which to ensure the correct operation of your wood heater include:
- Always burn small logs of dry, well-seasoned hardwood;
- Store firewood in a dry, well-ventilated area;
- Stack wood loosely in a wood heater to allow air to circulate
- Use dry kindling to establish a fire quickly;
- Do not leave the fire to smoulder overnight;
- Regularly check the chimney for smoke;
- Ensure the chimney is cleaned at least once a year to remove soot and tar build-up. This will increase the heat of a fire and reduce smoke emissions.
For more information, visit epa.nsw.gov.au
If you are concerned by wood-smoke from a neighbour’s chimney Council can investigate and try to reach a solution without enforcement.
In some situations Council may take action. Council officers must see excessive smoke coming from a chimney before action can be taken.
When investigating an odour complaint Council considers factors including the source, the amount of odour emitted, the duration and rate of emission, the sensitivity of the surrounding environment and the impact.
You can reduce odour emissions by keeping your property tidy and preventing vegetation or rubbish from accumulating. Also, please consider weather conditions before starting work that will create an odour – for instance, don’t fertilise your garden on a hot day.
If you have concerns about an odour, you can ask Council to investigate.