Choosing, installing and maintaining a wood heater is an important decision. You should make sure your heater is fully certified and complies with the Australian Standard AS/NZS 4013. The following information will help guide you on what to look for when buying a wood heater, and our list of certified wood heaters below provide details of compliant products on the market in Australia.
All solid-fuel heaters must comply with the Australian Standard AS/NZS 4013 for emissions. Since being introduced by industry representatives in 1992, these standards have changed the way wood heaters are tested so they’re better for the environment. It is illegal for anyone to sell wood heaters that do not comply with these standards.
The current emission limit for all new wood heaters sold in Australia is 2.5 grams of particulate emissions per kilo of wood burnt. All certified wood heaters must have an efficiency requirement of 55%.
In comparison, non-certified wood heaters emit around 12 grams of particles per kilo of wood burnt and open fires emit roughly 17 grams per kilo.
It is best to choose a certified wood heater with a low emission level and high efficiency rating. The lower the emission level, the less carbon your wood heater emits into the atmosphere and the less impact it has on the environment. The higher the efficiency, the less wood is needed to generate heat to your home.
To make sure your wood heater complies with Australian regulations, check that it has a compliance plate and a current certificate of compliance.
All wood heaters and related fittings must be installed in line with Australian Standard AS/NZS2918 and in accordance with the wood heater manufacturer’s instructions. To ensure your heater is installed properly, we recommend using a person who is qualified to do so.
Before installing a certified wood heater in Australia, you should check if approval is required from your local council.
All wood heater manufacturers in Australia must comply with the tough AS/NZS4013 standards to ensure consumers get a quality product that is both efficient and safe for the environment.
The Australian Home Heating Association (AHHA) manages the list of wood heater manufacturers who produce compliant wood heaters. AHHA is the peak industry body that assists in the formulation, development and implementation of relevant policies to the wood heating industry. All regulations and policies developed by this body meet the legal, technical and environmental requirements of all States and Territories in Australia.
As part of their role, AHHA has established a robust Certification Procedure to ensure that wood heater models offered for sale meet the current Australian/New Zealand Standards AS/NZS 4012/4013.
The certified wood heaters listed below comply with the following standards:
• AS/NZS 4012:2014 “Domestic solid fuel burning appliances – Method for determination of power output and efficiency”
• AS/NZS 4013:2014 “Domestic solid fuel burning appliances – Method for determination of flue gas emission”.
The AHHA’s top tips for the safe and efficient use of wood heaters include:
• Make sure the wood heater is properly installed by a person qualified to do so
• Get your wood heater serviced once a year in spring or early summer
• Use kindling wood, paper and firelighters to get the fire started
• Add larger pieces of wood only after a hot bed of coals has been established
• Leave air controls open for at least 15-20 minutes to start the fire burning and when re-loading
• Don’t close the air supply completely overnight – a little air avoids a lot of smoke
• A wood heater will burn better with three or four smaller logs rather than one or two large ones
• Insulate your home, and close doors and curtains to conserve heat while allowing enough fresh air for efficient combustion.
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