Tighter emission and new efficiency controls
New heaters are cleaner burning and more efficient than older-style wood heaters and open fires.
A slow combustion heater will produce less pollution than a pot-belly stove or open fire because the fire is sealed in an airtight box.
As of 1 November 2016 more stringent emission and new efficiency controls were introduced in NSW in an amendment to the Clean Air Regulation (See the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2021). The Australian/New Zealand Standards 4012:2014 and 4013:2014 introduce more stringent emission limits and new efficiency limits for domestic solid fuel appliances.
From 1 September 2019 all new solid fuel home heaters sold in NSW (locally and imported) must have at least 60 per cent efficiency and no more than 1.5 g/kg.
Check your heater has a compliance plate stating it conforms to the Australian Standard for pollution emissions (AS/NZS 4013:2014) and efficiency (AS/NZS 4012:2014). If it doesn't you might consider upgrading your heater to a newer more efficient model.
Contact your local council to check on local regulations before installing a wood heater.
Some councils keep a register of licensed installers who will certify heaters are installed to the standard. There may also be special considerations in choosing a suitable chimney for your local area.