If you use a woodburner, make sure your fire is burning brightly and you use dry, untreated firewood.
Good air quality is fundamental to our wellbeing.
The presence of contaminants in the air can have adverse health and nuisance effects on people, property and the environment.
Small particles of pollution in the air come from:
People with pre-existing respiratory and heart conditions, diabetes, the young, and older people are particularly vulnerable to air pollution. These tiny airborne particles of pollution, known as particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) can cause a range of health effects such as:
Air pollution can also affect our day to day activities and quality of life. It can be a hazard or nuisance by:
Read more about air quality on the Ministry for the Environment website.
The main air quality issue in our district is winter time smog due to wood burning.
Wood burners used for home heating and outdoor fires associated with the burning of garden waste and horticultural practices contribute to this air pollution. The calm, clear and cold winter days don’t allow smoke to rise and disperse. Instead, the smoke sits low to the ground and the air pollution can cause significant negative health and nuisance effects
Applying good practices when burning wood can significantly reduce the amount of smoke produced, ensure more efficient burning and, in the case of home heating, is more cost effective.
Select on the links below to view Tasman’s air quality monitoring, weather and webcam information. Council also monitors Nelson’s air quality on behalf of Nelson City Council.
The following companies are Good Wood suppliers.
|Bay Firewood||Snow Wells||bayfirewood.co.nz||
027 769 6348
|Richmond Wood and Coal||Barry Newport
and Duane Whiting
|Richmond Wood and Coal website||
03 544 6473
|Buyright Firewood||Gordon Evans||Buyright Firewood on facebook||
021 127 8957
|Wholesale Firewood||Kylie Stringer||Wholesale Firewood on Yellow.co.nz||
03 546 9595
027 922 9611
When you choose a Good Wood supplier, you're opting for a trusted source of dry firewood that will burn well, helping to keep your home warmer and our air cleaner.
The Tasman District Council and Nelson City Council wish to promote the Good Wood scheme as a way of contributing to better wood burner operation. It is a joint project between the Councils and wood suppliers, who undertake to supply firewood according to best practice and contribute to improving air quality in our districts.
Using Good Wood also means you can be sure that you can operate your wood burner more efficiently, saving you money. Burning dry and seasoned wood gives better heat for cost as well as lower emissions.
Look for the Good Wood tick next time you buy firewood.
Good Wood suppliers have agreed to supply householders with either:
Summer is the best time to buy and store your firewood, so you have dry, seasoned wood ready for next winter.
When ordering seasoned wood from a Good Wood supplier, request that the wood complies with the Council’s moisture requirements.
Burning firewood with a moisture content of more than 25% is banned in Tasman and Nelson. If it doesn’t meet the requirements, don’t accept the delivery.
A Good Wood supplier will have a moisture meter to measure the moisture content of wood if you wish to confirm that wood being delivered is dry enough for use. Alternatively, you can test by striking two pieces of wood together - dry wood will make a sharp cracking sound. Cracks at the end of the wood are another sign that it is dry.
You can buy green wood in time for it to be seasoned before winter. Wood will take between 4 and 12 months to season. Green wood that has recently been cut or wood that has not been stored properly or for long enough will have a higher moisture content. It will not meet Council’s moisture requirements so should not be used for burning. Ensure that any green wood purchased is stored so that the air can circulate freely and is sheltered from rain.
If you choose to purchase firewood from a 'side of the road' source, you may get caught out with a green load.
When wood is difficult to burn, it does not produce as much heat as dry wood, it will be extremely smoky, reducing cost effectiveness and will clog your flue with creosote, and become dangerous quite quickly.
If you have cut down a tree, stack it and allow it to season for 12 months before burning. Split wood dries faster.
Cut into suitable sized lengths in a variety of sizes for your wood burner as well. Chunks that are too large will not burn properly, meaning less heat and more smoke.
Cut enough kindling to help with starting your fire.
Store wood in a dry place that is sheltered from rain and stack it loosely off the ground in a criss-cross pattern to let dry air circulate around it.
Timber treated with preservatives such as CCA (copper chrome arsenic treatment) must never be used for firewood. Burning treated wood exposes yourself and your family to its dangerous chemicals and the ash also causes long term issues in the environment.
Arsenic is released into the atmosphere when treated wood is burnt. Significant levels of arsenic has shown up in our wintertime air quality monitoring and this source is from treated timber being used for domestic fires.
Please contact the Council if you are unsure whether the wood you are intending to use as firewood is treated. Treated wood offcuts should be sent to landfill.
You should also avoid burning painted timber. Some painted timber still has paint that contains lead and the lead will also enter the air you breathe through the smoke.
Remember to clean your chimney annually. If done well, this will help prevent chimney fires, and help your wood burner run more efficiently. Chimney fires are caused by a build-up of creosote in chimneys when wet wood is burnt or wood is burnt at low temperatures. A chimney fire can quickly lead to a house fire.
Green wood will not burn efficiently, leaving you with a cold house and smoky fire. Striking two pieces of wood together is a good way to check if it is dry enough. Dry wood will give a resonant crack and wet wood will make a dull thud.
Do not damp down your fire overnight. There is a false belief that damping down the fire will keep the house warmer for longer. It doesn't, because lots of smoke means lost heat and lost heat means lost money and wasted fuel. Low temperature burning increases chimney accumulations of water and unburnt wasted products, called creosote, not a warm house.
To use your wood burner in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way, do not burn any of the following:
Take these items to a Resource Recovery Centre to be disposed of safely either by recycling or safe landfilling. Burning of such items is prohibited under the following rules:
If your current wood burner is over 10 year old, it may need replacing – modern appliances are far more efficient. Alternatively, you can install clean air heat source (heat pumps, gas fires, electric heaters).
The Tasman Resource Management Plan (TRMP) has rules that apply to the use of home heating appliances. This includes open fires, pot belly and domestic ranges or stoves, wood burners, pellet fires, multi-fuel (coal/wood and waste burning system) or any other similar appliance. Any new wood burners installed in properties up to 2ha must meet the design standards as set out in the TRMP and National Environmental Standards for Air Quality.
There are specific rules that apply to burners in Richmond as they contribute significant air pollution to the airshed during winter. Wood burners may require upgrading to clean burning appliances when a house changes ownership. New houses within the airshed can only install pellet fires, or use clean air heat sources such as heat pumps or electric heaters.
You will also require Building Consent for the installation of a wood burner.
If you’re thinking of buying a second hand burner, or importing a burner from overseas, be aware that these will also need to meet the design standards in the TRMP and National Environmental Standards for Air Quality. Testing an appliance to confirm compliance can be costly.
Authorised wood burners (including pellet fires) are listed on the Ministry of Environment’s Authorised Wood Burner list.
All wood burners installed indoors after 1 September 2005, on a property less than 2 hectares anywhere in the District, must comply with the Ministry for the Environment's National Environment Standards for Air Quality (NES).
Emissions must be less than 1.5 g/kg (grams of particulate per kilogram of wood burnt) and have an efficiency of greater than 65 percent.
This guide provides information about the effects of smoke from wood burners and how to reduce them.
The guide explains: