With the cold already upon us, our thoughts turn to a nice warm fire. You can reduce air pollution and reduce the amount of
wood you need (and save money if you have to buy wood) by following some simple rules. A well-maintained heater and
flue combined with correct fuel burning techniques will increase the efficiency of your heater.
Check your heater and clean your flue before every heating season to prevent flue fires
Repair broken firebricks and replace burnt out baffle plates or damaged seals
To get your fire started, use kindling and paper or firelighters
Use dry and well-seasoned wood. Wet or green wood creates smoke, blocks the flue, smells a lot and doesn’t heat the house
When you start or refuel your fire always have air controls open to prevent soot build up
Close down your air vent and keep your fire burning at a steady rate.
Aim for complete burning by having enough air flow so coals and flames glow brightly
If the fuel has burnt down to a few red coals, add paper and small wood pieces to get it re-started. Every time you reload
burn on high for about 20 minutes
Hardwood (e.g. red gum) burns longer and heats better. Softwoods (e.g. pine) are light in weight, burn quickly and produce a
lot of ash
Ideal firewood is dense, dry and easy to split.