9 tips for using a wood burner wisely
BURNING dry, untreated wood of the right size and operating your wood burner correctly helps avoid air pollution that causes premature death, hospitalisation and respiratory illness.
READ and follow the manufacturer’s operation and safety instructions. For example, don’t burn coal in a wood burner, unless the manufacturer specifically says you can, otherwise you can damage it.
USE safety guards to protect children and pets.
PLAN ahead and use well-seasoned, dry firewood, ideally stored under cover in a well-ventilated, windy and sunny place for at least a year to dry out before use.
BURN firewood of the right size, ideally less than 110mm diameter.
USE the right wood at the right time. Lighter woods (often called ‘softwood’) like pine are good for kindling and getting a fire started. Once the fire is well established, denser woods (hardwoods) like gum will burn for longer and give off more heat.
DON’T burn chemically-treated wood or salt-impregnated wood like driftwood. These can corrode your wood burner and flue, emit toxic gases, and leave toxic residues in the ash and flue.
REGULATE the heat output by adjusting the amount of fuel you load, not by dampening the air control.
KEEP the air setting high enough for a clean burn. Too much or too little air cools the fire which then produces smoke. Place large pieces of wood on a good bed of embers and set the burner at a high temperature.