Rotorua's air quality is a community problem and we all need to
take action to help clean it up. There are several ways you can
make a difference.
1. Choose Clean Heating
Being warm is just as important as breathing clean air. We do
not want to sacrifice one for the other. Wood burners, multi
burners and open fires that do not meet the National Environmental
Standards for Air Quality should be replaced as they are producing
higher levels of pollution as compared to approved clean heat
about Rotorua resident's experiences in upgrading to clean
There are several heating options that produce less
Heat pumps are a great way to heat your home and do not produce
any of the harmful PM10 particulates in the air. And heat pumps are
still one of the cheapest heating options available. They provide a
clean and easy way to heat your home.
Pellet burners are one of the most environmentally friendly ways
of heating your home. Pellet burners burn compressed wood pellets
in a purpose built fire. Whilst they look like a conventional wood
burner the pellets, which are sold in 15kg bags, are loaded into a
hopper at the back of the unit and are fed into the fire by an
automated feed system.
By adjusting the amount of pellets fed into the fire it provides
control over the amount of heat produced.
Pellet fires also produce a fraction of the amount of
particulates released into the air, compared to non-compliant wood
Wood burners are a common form of heating in New Zealand.
Ministry for the Environment has an approved list of wood burners
that are more efficient and produce less air pollution than wood
burners in the past.
Regardless of the wood burners age, how the wood burner is
operated effects whether it is a source of clean heat. Wood used
must be dry, seasoned wood otherwise a smoky fire producing high
levels of pollution is the result. How the fire is built also
determines the amount of heat produced in the fire.
Firewood Early - Dry wood creates less pollution
Flued Gas Fires
Natural gas and LPG is clean-burning for pollutants. Make sure
if you use gas heating that it is flued.
There are government subsidies available to help you pay for
insulation and clean heating. The Energy Efficiency and
Conservation Authority (EECA) has subsidies.
|All eligible houses
||33% of the total cost up to $1300 (incl GST)
||$500 (incl GST)
|Homeowners who hold Community Services Cards
||60% of the total cost
||$1200 (incl GST)
|Landlords with tenants who hold Community Services Cards
||60% of the total cost
||$500 (incl GST)
2. Only burn dry wood
If you have a wood burner, open fire or multi burner only burn
dry seasoned wood. Unseasoned wood that has not had time to dry out
does not produce as much heat and causes smoky fires, causing more
pollution. To ensure your wood is dry you should:
Get your wood in summer to ensure it is dry. Wood can take 6-12
months to dry.
Stack it well. By splitting wood to a maximum thickness of 15 cm
and stacking the wood properly, your wood will dry faster. Stack
wood loosely to let air flow through the pile. Wood should also be
stacked off the ground.
Your wood needs to be covered to protect it from the elements.
Never burn treated or painted wood, driftwood or household rubbish.
These products release toxic substances into the air when they
3. Burn efficient fires
Here are some tips to keep your fire burning efficiently so you
get the best value from your firewood and reduce the amount of
- Start the fire with paper, dry kindling or an approved
commercially available fire lighter
- Burn fires bright and hot. A smoldering fire creates more smoke
and less heat
- Regularly remove ashes from the burner or fireplace
- After starting the fire leave the air controls open for at
least 30 minutes as this helps build up a good high temperature
which makes wood burn well. Do this each time you add more
- Don't bank up the fire overnight
- Don't put a full load of wood into a wood burner when there are
only a few glowing coals as it causes excessive smoke for long
4. Insulate your home
Without insulation you will lose 42% of your heat through the
ceiling, 24% though the walls and 10% through the floor. Underfloor
insulation will also help stop moisture getting into your home.
If you get the design and insulation right for your house you
won't need as much heating and you can think about installing a
smaller more efficient heating system.
Subsidies are available to help with the cost of insulation. For
more information, go to the Energywise website.