Burning wood for warmth is as old as yarning round a camp fire, but these days there’s more to think about than where the next log is coming from. Here are ten websites with information about broader aspects of wood fires.
1. Asthma Foundation. How asthma friendly is your winter heater?
[available at: www.asthmafoundation.org.au/wood_fire_heaters_addendum.aspx ]
Extract: “Consumers have a wide array of heating options to choose from, but people who live with asthma should consider their asthma triggers when deciding what type of heating to have in their homes.”
2. Australia. Department of Environment and Heritage. Wood Heater Particle Emissions and Operating Efficiency Standards: Cost benefit Analysis. 2006.
[available at: http://www.environment.gov.au/atmosphere/airquality/publications/pubs/wood- particle-emissions.pdf ]
Extract: “Currently, most Australian jurisdictions require new wood heaters to meet the 1999 emissions standard of 4 grams of particles per kilogram (g/kg) of fuel burnt as determined by the Australian / New Zealand Standards AS/NZS 4013 – Domestic solid fuel burning appliances – Method for determination of flue gas emission. Some jurisdictions have extra measures to curb particle emissions from wood heaters. However, no jurisdiction requires wood heaters to meet a minimum efficiency standard, as none is currently specified in the Standards.”
3. Australia. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Woodheaters and woodsmoke: Air quality fact sheet. 2005
[available at: www.environment.gov.au/atmosphere/airquality/publications/woodsmoke.html ]
Extract: “When wood is heated to a high enough temperature it breaks down into a complex mixture of gases. These gases burn in the presence of oxygen to give off heat. If there is not enough oxygen, or not enough heat, the gases will only partially burn and the un-burnt gases will go up the chimney into the air outside.
Once outside, these gases cool down and condense into tiny droplets of oils and tars. These are known as particles. A single particle is far too small to see with the naked eye, but a lot of particles together are seen as woodsmoke. Particles cause many of the environmental and health problems associated with woodsmoke. They are a major source of air pollution in wintertime, especially where many people use woodheaters for home heating.”
4. Australian Home Heating Association. Fact Sheet
[available at: www.homeheat.com.au/pdf/fact.pdf ]
Extract: “The AHHA is the peak industry body representing the manufacturing, retailing, installation, maintenance and firewood sectors of the wood heating industry. The AHHA is also committed to an ecologically sound supply of firewood through the support of Landcare programs, firewood plantations, and better integration of conventional logging operations. The AHHA supports the removal of polluting older style wood heaters and open brick fireplaces, but encourages the continuation of wood heating as a viable and environmentally friendly home heating option, through the use of clean-burn wood heaters.”
5. Canada. Natural Resources. A guide to residential woodheating. 2002. [available at: http://www.cleanairplan.ca/documents/woodguide.pdf ]
Extract: “This guide is part of a series of buyer’s guides on renewable energy systems for residential use. More documents on residential woodheating include:
a. All about Wood Fireplaces
b. An introduction to Home heating with with wood”
6. Consumers’ Federation of Australia. Does your wood heater conform to Australian Standards? 2013.
[available at: www.consumersfederation.org.au/does-your-wood-heater-conform-to-australian-standards/ ]
Extract: “The Standards Australia Technical Committee CS-062 is currently developing and amending AS/NZS 4012 Domestic solid fuel burning appliances – Method for determination of power output and efficiency and AS/NZS 4013 Domestic solid fuel burning appliances – Method for determination of flue gas emission.
7. D. Driscoll, G. Milkovits and D. Freudenberger. 2000. Impact and use of firewood in Australia.
[available at: www.environment.gov.au/land/publications/firewood-impacts.html ]
Extract: “The report provides a national perspective of the extent and impact of firewood collection. The report reviews existing information and provides new survey results from Australian households, firewood merchants, and state government agencies.”
8. New South Wales. Environment Protection Authority. Selecting, installing and domestic solid fuel heaters. 1999
[available at: www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/woodsmoke/woodguide.pdf ]
Extract: “This guideline is one of a range of actions to reduce pollution from solid fuel heaters. Overall, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) estimates that solid fuel heaters contribute 40% of air particle pollution in winter. This is an important issue for the community. Smoke from solid fuel heaters contains a mix of pollutants, including carbon monoxide, fine particles and other chemical compounds. These pollutants can affect human health, especially the health of older people, children and people with respiratory illnesses.”
9. Robinson, D. Australian wood heaters currently increase global warming and health costs [in] Atmospheric Pollution Research 2 (2011) 267-274
[available at: http://www.atmospolres.com/articles/Volume2/issue3/APR-11-033.pdf ] Extract: “Firewood production is often considered to be CO2–neutral, if the carbon dioxide emitted by burning the wood is absorbed by replacement trees. However, burning firewood in the domestic heaters that are currently available in Australia produces methane and black carbon particles that increase global warming. The aim of this study was to estimate the amount of global warming from wood heating in Australia and evaluate ways in which this might be reduced.”
10. Todd, John. Wood-Smoke handbook: Woodheaters, firewood and operator practice. 2003 [available at: www.environment.gov.au/atmosphere/airquality/publications/handbook/index.html ]
Extract: “This Handbook has been prepared to assist local government officers, and others, in identifying and dealing with localized wood-smoke nuisance and broad-scale wood-smoke pollution.”