Wood heaters safe for now

johnboy 23 September 2010 13

The Canberra Times reports that carbon neutral wood heating has been reprieved despite concerns over air quality in Tuggeranong.

The ACT Government says Canberra’s air quality is not bad enough to justify a ban on domestic wood burning heaters.

But a report tabled in the Legislative Assembly this week found wood smoke in Canberra’s south was contributing to unhealthy pollution levels in winter.

The Greens have called on the Government to ramp up education on Tuggeranong’s unique topography.

An inversion layer traps pollution in the valley on cold and still days.

(Your correspondent’s house is wood-fired and when operated intelligently it produces very little smoke while increasing the chances dramatically of young women wanting to stay the night)

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13 Responses to Wood heaters safe for now
Mathman Mathman 12:32 am 24 Sep 10

smee said :

We’re thinking of getting a wood heater as a fallback in case of a failure in the electricity supply.

Huh? I’ve lived in Tuggeranong for 20 years and the only significant failure of the electricity supply I’ve ever experienced was in 2003 during the bushfires when the power was deliberately switched off by ACTEW. Even when the line connected to my house failed the power was out for less than 20 mins whilst it was being repaired.

On the other hand, if you had gas heating and faced the prospect of waiting three months for a repairman to be available……

smee smee 11:10 pm 23 Sep 10

We’re thinking of getting a wood heater as a fallback in case of a failure in the electricity supply. At the moment if the power goes out the only heating we have would be to park the BBQ in the back door or jump in the car.

peterepete peterepete 8:46 pm 23 Sep 10

I know its a fuddy-duddy thing but I cant get beyond the fact that they are called wood heaters.

frank2112 frank2112 6:22 pm 23 Sep 10

Lived in tuggeranong for 33 years and in the last 10 it has been nowhere near as bad as it was. This past winter I didn’t notice it at all.

dtc dtc 4:48 pm 23 Sep 10

The (previous?) govt incentive to replace wood heaters with something else only applied if wood heating was your sole source of heating. I reckon the majority of people have a wood stove in the living room and other forms of heating elsewhere, but at night (because they are in the living room) they use the wood heater (and perhaps turn off the other heating).

So the incentive didnt really get rid of many wood heaters. And educating people as to how they are affecting someone else will never work. People who are jogging at night in the middle of winter – not going to get much sympathy . . .

So perhaps some rebate or incentive to replace any wood burning stove (or any wood burning stove that isnt a slow burn of a certain standard).

(yeah yeah, government handouts to the underserved. But if air pollution is a problem, its a relatively painless way to do something about it)

Erg0 Erg0 3:23 pm 23 Sep 10

Buzz2600 said :

Is it possible for the govt. to stop you using your wood heater? How could they police this?

Where there’s smoke there’s fire.

Antagonist Antagonist 2:30 pm 23 Sep 10

The idiot directly over the road from me here in Tuggeranong often burns treated pine – mostly structural timber or treated pine sleepers. He is also a classic example of somebody who does not know how to use his wood heater – he sends up some impressive smoke signals from his chimney in winter. The sooner they are phased out and banned the happier I will be.

Buzz2600 Buzz2600 12:29 pm 23 Sep 10

Whatever works for you, JB!

We just had our open fireplace (utterly inefficient) converted to an enclosed slow burn ‘clean air’ wood heater. It’s about the best there is for efficient wood heating. We plant trees each year on a friends rural property and do the Greening Australia tree planting each year (so we figure we’re using a carbon neutral renewable energy source by replanting what we burn).

Is it possible for the govt. to stop you using your wood heater? How could they police this? Luckily I don’t live in Tuggers, I live in Downer, so I figure we’re safe – for the moment anyway.

motleychick motleychick 11:27 am 23 Sep 10

It is really bad in winter in Tuggers. The smell is so horrible, and I had to stop going for runs at night as the smoke was making my asthma worse. Disgusting.

Thumper Thumper 10:52 am 23 Sep 10

Ah, and people deride winters in Canberra…

Fiona Fiona 10:23 am 23 Sep 10


Only targeting ‘young’ women? :p

So, it’s okay in the city though, right?

mp2615 mp2615 10:20 am 23 Sep 10

Thanks for that JB. Now I have an image of you in a maroon robe reclining on a bearskin, swilling some expensive champagne, with a bright fire crackling in the background.

Oh the horror

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