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Wood Fires and Fire Places

Burning wood in a clean air approved, low emissions, Wood Fire is carbon neutral when using wood from a sustainable source. Wood Fires are the popular choice when it comes to heating your home in a cost effective and environmentally sustainable manner. A Wood Fire has a multi- purpose function which apart from being your primary heat source, can be used inline with a heat transfer system, water heating or cooking.

CLEAN AIR FIRES The latest standards for emissions are designed to reduce your carbon emissions. Clean air Wood Fires have considerably lower emissions than open fires and non-clean air approved fires or multi-fuel fires.

EFFICIENCY           NES standards require a modern fire to be fuel efficient – just like a car "kilometres per litre", the efficiency rating is an important factor to consider when choosing a Wood Fire.

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FAQ's

Is a Wood Fire carbon neutral?

Wood is a carbon neutral product and unlike other fuels, burning wood generates no more CO2 than if it was left to decompose naturally.

Is a Wood Fire cheaper to run than a heat pump?

Yes, when you calculate the cost of wood fuel versus electricity, in cents per kW hour, clean air approved Wood Fires are a considerably cheaper form of home heating than electricity.

How efficient or clean-burning is an older open fire with a brick chimney?

In simple terms they are not clean burning at all, nor are they efficient. As a generally accepted fact, an open fire is a fire place, rather than a heater – you have the same degree of heating efficiency as a bonfire. The emissions are dramatically higher and the efficiency is incredibly low. 

Can my old brick open fire and chimney be converted to a clean air approved Wood Fire?

Yes, absoloutely. In most cases a clean air approved insert fire inserted into the existing fire place can be done, along with a new metal flue pipe fitted up into the existing chimney. Conversions from an open fire to an insert fire makes a massive difference to emissions and efficiency, and can generate a better heat for quality home heating.

I have an old open fire – can I keep using this into the future?

No, in simple terms it's days are numbered. There are already large areas of New Zealand where there is an outright ban on open fires, with the rest to follow progressively as tighter regulations come into force throughout the country. We recommend converting to an insert type Wood Fire to be clean air approved. 

I bought a used older fire on Trade Me and want to have it installed. Can I get a consent?

Unfortunately, it would be highly unlikely. Firstly, it would need to be proven that it is on the clean air aproved list. If not, it would be best not to use it. Even if it is on the approved list, you would need to find an installer who is prepared to put their name to it being safe for installation and provide a producer statement on your consents to say so.

How can I check if my delivered fire wood is truly dry?

The most fool-proof method is to use a moisture meter – it is a battery powered tool which has two prongs that push into any piece of wood to tell you the moisture content as a percentage. Ideally you want fire wood to have a moisture content of 15% or less, but any delivered firewood with a moisture content of 20% or less is considered dry. Do not accept wood that has a moisture content higher than 20% when bought as dry wood. It is also not good to burn treated, painted wood or demolition timber. Drift wood should only be used in open fires.

Why does my Wood Fire produce a lot of white smoke, but never used to do this?

The three most likely causes will either be damp fuel wood, which hasn't been fully seasoned. Incorrect drafting (check the flue for obstructions or birds nests etc). Or it could be that the Wood Fire needs the ash cleared out of it, and the air flow around the burning fuel is restricted.

How do I find a reputable chimney sweeper and how often should I get my fire flue cleaned?

For insurance purposes it is recommended to have your chimney or flue swept every season, but at the very least every second season if the fuel burnt is of good quality. Another advantage of having a registered chimney sweep do the job is the ability for them to inspect the internal quality of your Wood Fire as well – checking the baffles and fire bricks are all 100% safe. You can find registered chimney sweeps via the NZ Home Heating Association website.

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