Frequently asked questions on wood burner use and installing wood burners in urban areas
Air Shed: Are you inside or Outside the Air Shed?
IF a stove is not tested as per the AS/NZS4013 then it cannot be installed inside the AIR SHED ZONES.
BUT it can be installed OUTSIDE these zones.
Check the map to see if you live in this zone : https://data.mfe.govt.nz/layer/98617-nz-airsheds-gazetted/).
You can still install wood burners that do not meet the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality provided the property the wood burner is installed on is 2 hectares or greater in size.
There are different council level requirements in addition to those of the MFE (less than 1.5 g/kg and more than 65%)
http://www.localcouncils.govt.nz/ check with the regional council to see what the rules are, eg: Canterbury requires 1.0 g/kg 65%, Rotorua 0.7 g/kg 65% etc…
Fires installation needs to comply with the NZBC (New Zealand Building Code), in it the NZBC offers AS/NZS2918 as an acceptable solution to do this.
All models of stoves in New Zealand need to comply with the standard
“ Domestic Solid fuel Burning appliance – Installation” – AS/NZS 2918:2018
In this standard there are two types of appliances stated.
- Untested appliances.
- Tested appliances.
Both types need to comply with the standard.
Approved installer can install both appliances as long as the requirements of the standard are met.
The standard outlines how both appliances can meet the requirements of the standard.
For example: both appliances have to have a certain clearance distances from “heat sensitive walls”
Definition of Heat Sensitive wall: (of a surface or substance) changing physically or chemically when exposed to heat – which could result in fire.
For Untested Appliances : the appliance needs to be 1200mm from a heat-sensitive wall, However, if an installer uses double heat shields then the distance can be reduced to 240mm .
Installer = an approved person.
Domestic Woodfired Cooking Appliances
It is a stove that has an oven: given their primary purpose is to cook food and not heat space.
Can these still be in the airshed? Yes and No Depending on the size of your property. Is it more or less than 2 hectares?
Additional Information As follows:
The NES for Air Quality standards (AS/NZS4013)
An airshed is a legally designated air quality management area.
Regional councils and unitary authorities have identified and made public (through the New Zealand Gazette) areas to be managed as airsheds for the purposes of the national environmental standards for air quality. The majority of these are known, or likely, to have levels of pollutants that exceed the national environmental standards for air quality. Some airsheds are also identified based on factors such as:
- the number of people living in the airshed now or in the future
- the airsheds unique weather patterns and geography
- because local air emissions (e.g. local industrial activity) need to be managed separately.
- Look at a map that shows some of the pressures on air quality in different areas of the region.
What is your contact number and email, I want to view the products
What can I do to help improve air quality in my area?
PLEASE CONTACT BEVAN
Phone : 021 032 44 11 and Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
One way you can help improve air quality in your area is to use cleaner forms of home heating, such as heat pumps and pellet burners. Some councils offer grants or low-interest loans for the purchase of cleaner domestic heating forms.
|How do I operate my wood burner efficiently and responsibly?||
If you are using a wood burner, ensure you are burning appropriate fuels. Dry firewood, sourced from a reputable wood merchant, is the most appropriate fuel for use in wood burners. Dry wood has a lower moisture content than wet wood and when burned it produces less smoke and less particulate matter pollution. The size and quality of your wood also has an effect on the efficiency of your wood burner.
Many councils have specific rules against burning fuels such as plastics, construction waste and treated wood. These regional rules can be found in council regional plans.
|Can I burn treated timber in my wood burner?||
No. Treated timber should not be burnt in wood burners, multi-fuel burners or open fires. Burning treated timber causes elevated levels of airborne arsenic. Councils may also have specific rules that prohibit the burning of treated timber.
Treated timber is timber that has been treated with a preservative called Chromate Copper Arsenate or with other chemicals. Timber is generally treated to resist decay and insect attack. Timber from building sites, fences or decks is likely to be treated.
|My neighbour’s chimney is producing a lot of smoke, what can I do?||
Your local regional council may have rules in its regional plan that prohibit or limit smoke from chimneys. You can call your regional council and bring this to their attention.
Smoke from home heating appliances such as wood burners causes increases in ambient air pollution which can cause adverse health effects in your community. If the appropriate fuel is burned (such as only firewood in wood burners) and if it is used correctly this can help minimise pollution.
|Can a wood burner be exempted from complying with the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality.||No. The standards were introduced to ensure a baseline level of national consistency. Allowing exceptions to the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality would go against the intent of the standards and would compromise their integrity.|
|Can I install a burner advertised as meeting the wood burner standards in the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality that is not on the Ministry’s authorised list?||
Building consent officers who process building consents refer to the authorised wood burner list before issuing a consent. Compliance is demonstrated by going through the authorisation process. Advertising a wood burner as authorised does not necessarily translate to compliance with the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality.
You may call the Ministry for the Environment to confirm if this model is in the process of being added to the list, otherwise, it may not be installed in properties less than two hectares. We strongly urge people, for their own protection, to only purchase burners on the authorised list.
|Can I install a second-hand wood burner?||We recommend you discuss your plan to install a second-hand wood burner with your local city or district council or the unitary authority in your area before purchasing the wood burner. There are factors in addition to the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality that these agencies need to consider before permitting the installation of a second-hand wood burner.|
|Can I make modifications to my authorised wood burner?||
Authorised wood burners have been designed and tested to ensure that they meet emissions and efficiency limits set out in the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality. Modifications may result in more emissions being discharged or a decrease in efficiency, which will invalidate the authorisation.
Modifying your wood burner without the advice of the manufacturer may also create a fire hazard or other safety risks.
|If I move my existing wood burner to another location within the same house does it need to comply with the wood burner standards?||An existing burner that is moved within a house is considered to be a newly installed burner, so it must meet the wood burner standards in the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality. You may also need a building consent.|
|If I want to import a wood burner from overseas what do I do?||
You will need to have the wood burner tested in accordance with the Australian/New Zealand Standards AS/NZS 4013:2014 and AS/NZS 4012:2014 or a functionally equivalent method. The wood burner then needs to be authorised by either Environment Canterbury or the Nelson City Council.
Details regarding the authorisation procedure can be found on the webpage Authorised solid fuel burners [Environment Canterbury’s website] or by contacting the Nelson City Council, see the Nelson City Council website for contact details.
|Are wetbacks still allowed?||Yes, but wood burners with wetbacks still need to meet the wood burner standards in the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality. There are a number of wetback wood burner options on the Ministry’s list of authorised wood burners.|
|Can I install a multi-fuel or coal burner?||
A multi-fuel burner is a domestic heating appliance designed to burn more than one type of solid fuel. The National Environmental Standards for Air Quality currently do not apply to multi-fuel or coal burners. However, some councils regulate multi-fuel and/or coal burners through their plan rules.
You will need to find out from your regional council or unitary authority whether it is legal to install these types of burners in your area. See council maps and websites for contact details.
* The Ministry encourages cleaner forms of heating. Coal burners produce more emissions than other types of domestic heating.
|Can I install a wood-burning cooking stove?||
Some councils regulate wood-burning cooking stoves through their plan rules. You will need to find out from your regional council or unitary authority whether it is legal to install these types of burners in your area. See council maps and websites for contact details.
A good indication of whether an appliance is a cooking stove is if it has an oven. A hot plate on top of a freestanding wood burner is not a cooking stove.
|Why are some shops selling burners that do not meet the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality?||You can still install wood burners that do not meet the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality provided the property the wood burner is installed on is 2 hectares or greater in size.|
|Why don’t some Australian wood burners meet the wood burner standards in the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality?||The Australian/New Zealand Standards specify the methods that must be used to test the emissions and efficiency of a wood burner. However, they do not specify the level of emissions or efficiency that a wood burner must achieve. This information is contained within the wood burner standards in the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality, which only apply to New Zealand.|
|Where do I get a building consent?||
You can get this from your local city council, district council or unitary authority for installations that meet the requirements of the Building Act regulations.
See Council maps and websites for contact details.
|My question has not been answered here. Who should I talk to?||
We suggest you direct any further question to your local council if it is concerning implementation of the national-level standards or guidelines. Your regional council sets specific rules in their regional plans that relate to air quality in your area. Your local territorial authority (city, district or unitary council) will be aware of these rules and are responsible for issuing building consents for domestic heating appliances.