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Stay safe and warm this winter

Flames in a fireplace

Monday 25 June 2018

If you haven’t yet checked your home wood heater, now is the time to make sure it’s operating efficiently so you can stay warm and safe throughout winter.

While wood heaters are a great way to heat your home, if not used properly they can create unnecessary air pollution and impact the health of vulnerable people such as asthmatics.

Mount Alexander Shire Council recommends residents consider these tips as the weather cools down:

• If you haven’t already, make sure your flue is checked and cleaned.
• Burn only dry, seasoned, untreated wood.
• Use smaller logs instead of only one large log.
• Don’t pack the fire box too full as this starves the fire of oxygen and causes it to smoulder.
• Keep the fire burning brightly for the first 20 minutes after lighting and reloading – the faster you can get the fire going the less smoke it will create.
• Always have a visible flame if you plan to keep the fire going overnight.
• Refer to the manufacturer's operation manual for instructions specific to your heater.
• If smoke from your wood heater is causing a nuisance to neighbours consider increasing the height of your flue.

If you’re in the market for a new wood heater:

• Check the efficiency rating before you purchase.
• Choose one that is the right size for your home.
• Make sure that it is certified to the latest Australian Standards.

While it’s cosy to sit around a wood heater, improving the thermal efficiency of your home will also reduce your reliance on heating.

You can help to regulate the temperature of your home by ensuring you have sufficient wall, underfloor and ceiling insulation and thick curtains on your windows.

For more information about the economical, air quality and health benefits of operating your wood heater efficiently search ‘wood heaters’ on the Environmental Protection Authority website at www.epa.vic.gov.au.

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