Wood Moisture Meter

Smoke from wood heaters is a major cause of air pollution. In fact, during winter, wood heaters can produce up to seven times as much particle pollution as cars. Not only is a smoking fire wasting your money, but the air pollution it causes can also affect our health.

Harmful smoke pollution can be drastically reduced if we improve the way we use our wood heaters.

One important way we can reduce wood smoke is to make sure your wood is aged and dry.

How do you know if your wood is dry?

Bang two pieces together or tap the wood with a key or coin. You should hear a loud, hollow crack. Dry wood makes a sharp resonant sound, while wet wood makes a dull sound. Alternatively, find out below how you can borrow one of the moisture meters available from the Library.

How to Store Wood?

When storing wood, stack it under cover in a dry ventilated area. Freshly cut wood needs to be stored for about 8 to 12 months to become dry enough to use.

Sourcing Your Wood

If buying wood to use immediately, ask your wood seller to verify the wood has been aged.

If collecting wood yourself, please be aware of where you take it from. Firewood harvesting is destroying some of our most threatened vegetation and animal habitats.

What Not to Burn

Never burn household rubbish, driftwood or treated or painted wood. It can pollute the air and produce poisonous gases. For example, green pine logs used for constructing garden edges and park and playground equipment are treated with copper-chrome-arsenate (CCA). These logs are safe to handle but release toxic substances when burnt. Most old painted wood is likely to contain lead-based paint and should not be burnt. 

Borrow a Wood Moisture Meter

Council has two wood moisture meters available for loan at Camden and Narellan Libraries.

You can use the moisture meter to help determine how much moisture is in the wood to be used in your wood heater. Green or unseasoned wood contains up to 50% water, which causes fire to smoke. 

For more information on preventing wood smoke pollution, contact Camden Council on 4654 7777 or visit www.epa.nsw.gov.au/woodsmoke.