What's worth knowing
- Uses renewable wood energy
- Dry firewood is low pollution
- Cheap to run
- Heats large spaces
- Great for a cold climate
- Can be used for cooking and water heating
- Can heat more rooms with a heat transfer kit
- Can't be put on a timer
- Can take a while to get going
Be Gen Less with wood burners
Keep it low emissions by taking care with fuel and maintenance.
- Buy the most efficient wood burner that suits your needs.
- Make a sheltered space to store your firewood so it can dry for at least a year – windy and sunny but out of the rain.
- Only burn dry, untreated and unpainted wood less than 11cm in diameter.
- Don’t burn household rubbish, coal or salty wood like driftwood.
- Use wood from plantation forests like pine and gum rather than native woods like manuka.
- Get the right amount of heat by using the right amount of fuel, rather than dampening the air control.
Check with your Council
Building consent is required for the installation or replacement of a wood burner, and many local councils have specific regulations because of air quality concerns. You will need to select an ‘ultra-low emission burner’ (ULEB) in some areas.
Get some expert advice
The New Zealand Home Heating Association gives advice about choosing wood burners and can put you in touch with a certified installer.
Consumer NZ’s report explains how they work, how to choose one and rates 150 models.