Combustion heater being installed in a new construction

Wood heaters must be installed to a standard for your protection and that of your property, neighbours and the environment.

If not installed correctly you could be at risk of a fire starting or chimney smoke may accumulate around buildings. This is why Council approval is required.

Dwellings under construction – installing an oil or solid fuel heater

A Section 68 Approval is not required if the heating appliance is being installed as part of a DA for a new dwelling. In this instance, details pertaining to the heating appliance must be included in the development application.


Existing dwellings - installing an oil or solid fuel heater

Section 68 Approval is required if you plan to install the appliance in an existing dwelling.
Documentation to be supplied along with your lodgement of the Section 68 application for approval:

  • Floor plan detailing the location of the heating appliance
  • An elevation detailing chimney size and height
  • Manufacturers details that certify that the appliance complies with the emission controls as per Australian Standard AS4013.1999
  • Manufacturers details/installation details that demonstrate installation in accordance with the requirements of Australian Standard AS2918.2001

Complete the below request to install an oil or solid field heating appliance.

Section 68 Approval request (general)


Operating Wood Heaters

The following useful tips will help you get the most out of your wood heater:

  • Use dry, dense, seasoned wood.
  • Never use treated or painted timber.
  • Stack wood under cover in a dry well ventilated area off the ground
  • When lighting the fire put plenty of paper underneath and two or three loosely crumpled sheets on top to heat the flue and create a quick draught.
  • Use small logs and ensure air can circulate freely around each log (at least 2cm space).
  • Leave the air flow fully open for at least 20 minutes to create the right conditions for the wood to burn completely and cleanly right from the start.
  • Keep the air control fully open for 5 minutes before and 15-20 minutes after adding logs.
  • Don't let your heater smoulder, keep the air control open enough to maintain a flame. A hotter fire means there will be less smoke.
  • Keep your heater and flue clean to ensure good air flow and prevent creosote build up.
  • Avoid burning coal - most domestic heaters are not designed to withstand the heat that comes from burning coal and will affect the longevity of the heater and you are risk of filling your room with noxious gases.

Get tips on how to operate your wood heater correctly

Visit the Australian Home Heating Association to find out how to operate your wood heater correctly.

Visit the NSW Dept of Environment website for more woodsmoke resources

Back to top