Oil or Solid Fuel Heaters

wood burner heater against wall

Impacts of the use of an Oil or Solid Fuel Heater

Smoke from oil or solid fuel heaters is a pollutant that can cause health problems for yourself, your family and your neighbours.

Wood smoke contains noxious gases including carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, and organic compounds that may be toxic or carcinogenic. It also causes particle pollution, which can be seen as a brown atmospheric haze on still, cool, winter mornings.

However, as the use of wood fire heaters is permitted under NSW legislation, Council is unable to prohibit that use. Council always encourages residents to take all practicable measures to prevent the likelihood of causing smoke and/or odour nuisances. Such measures should include but are not limited to:

  • Using dry, seasoned hardwood only
  • Storing wood in a dry, well ventilated place
  • Using an approved Australian Standard wood fire heater
  • Having a hot, well oxygenated fire
  • Ensuring that the chimney flue is clean
  • Checking the chimney at different stages of the fire to see if there is any smoke.

Approval to Install an Oil or Solid Fuel Heater

Oil or solid fuel heaters require prior approval for installation under section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993. Council approval is required to ensure that the installation and operation complies with the applicable guidelines and standards.

To obtain approval, a checklist must be completed to provide a greater assurance to Council that Australian Standards and impacts on nearby premises have been considered.

Hornsby Shire Council will assess applications for approval to install an oil or solid fuel heater on a case-by-case basis. As part of the application process, you are requested to comply with, and complete the following checklist. Council Officers will use this checklist as part of the assessment process. To apply, please

  • Details from an appropriately qualified person that the proposed heater meets the emission control requirements of AS 4013.1999/AS 4013.2014
  • Evidence from the installer that the proposed heater will meet the requirements of AS/NZS 2918.2001
  • Plans demonstrating that the flue pipe will extend not less than 4.6m above the top of the floor protector
  • Where the flue is 3m or less in horizontal distance from the highest point of the roof, the top of the flue must be at least 600mm above highest point of the roof
  • Where the flue is over 3m metres in horizontal distance from the highest point of the roof, the height of the flue must be at least 1000mm above the roof penetration
  • Whether the topography of the site or likely weather patterns or configuration of nearby dwelling/s indicate a potential to cause a smoke nuisance (Include on site plan)
  • Whether there are any significant trees or other environmental or structural factors in the immediate vicinity that may cause a smoke down draught (Include on site plan)
  • The type of flooring (concrete or timber framed floor)
  • Setbacks from the front, rear and side walls

Schematic of flue system showing dimensions

Minimum height of flue system as per AS/NZS 2918:2001

Further information can be found on the NSW Environment Protection Authority webpage.

Documents to be supplied

  • Site plan showing the location of the flue and all buildings on the land and any adjacent buildings within a 15 metre radius.
  • Floor plan showing the location of the solid fuel heating appliance, the hearth and any safety clearances or heat shield provided.
  • Set of elevations showing the height of the proposed flue above the roof and any adjoining buildings within a 15 metre horizontal radius.
  • Section plan showing how the proposed appliance will be installed, including the construction of the hearth, any safety clearances or heat shield to be provided and the construction of the flue.
  • Provide a certificate of compliance from the manufacturer of the proposed appliance stating that it complies with:
    • AS 4012 2014 Domestic solid fuel burning appliances – method for determination of power output and efficiency; and
    • AS 4013 2014 Domestic solid fuel burning appliances – method for determination of flue gas emission

If you have any questions please contact or 02 9847 6787.