NSW households with wood-burning heaters are being urged to do their bit to help reduce pollution this World Environment Day, on Wednesday 5 June.
The theme of World Environment Day 2019 is ‘Beat Air Pollution’ and Minister for Environment Matt Kean said as winter sets in, everyone in NSW can do their bit to significantly improve local air quality. “There is nothing like a log fire to beat the winter blues, but we need to be mindful that wood smoke isn’t good smoke,” Mr Kean said.
“Wood is a natural material, but when it’s burned, it produces harmful particle pollution. On cold winter days, wood smoke particles from inefficient heaters can become trapped close to the ground and impact health.
“We can all help reduce the amount of wood smoke pollution this winter by using aged dry wood and running our heaters properly.”
Some simple steps to reduce wood smoke pollution are:
1. Have the chimney cleaned at least once a year, to prevent tar build-up;
2. Don’t let your heater smolder overnight;
3. Burn only dry, aged hardwood in your wood heater. Green or unseasoned wood contains up to 70% water, which causes smoke, not heat and wastes money;
4. Never burn rubbish, driftwood or painted and treated wood, which can produce toxic gases; and
5. Check your chimney regularly to see how well your fire is burning. If there is a lot of smoke coming from the chimney, increase the air supply to your fire.
“Wood smoke pollution affects everyone. Even in small amounts, wood smoke pollutants can be harmful especially to the young, frail or elderly,” Mr Kean said.
“All wood heater owners should follow these easy steps and minimise the harmful effects of smoke pollution on families, neighbours and the environment.”