Your Guide To Collecting Firewood For The Upcoming Heating Season

If you’re in the process or are about to course wood for your fireplace, you should first become familiar with some of the info in the Forests Act 1958 and the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978, which set down the rules and regulations for the collection of firewood for residential use.

Residents of Victoria are no longer obligated to have permits in order to collect firewood from designated areas in state forests and parks, however if you do intend on collecting firewood, certain rules do apply. Use this handy reference guide to collecting firewood this winter:

  • Designated collection areas

Firewood can only be collected from designated areas and during firewood season Autumn (1 March to 30 June) and Spring (1 September to 30 November). Designated areas are clearly identifiable by markings provided on the ground.

  • Safety precautions

It is important to implement safety precautions when collecting firewood such as wearing appropriate clothing and using wood-collecting equipment appropriately. Ideally, you should be trained in how to use them properly. Chainsaws that have appropriate exhaust and spark arresters fitted can be used. You should also be aware of hazards like dead standing trees, uneven ground conditions and snakes and stinging insects.

  • Limited quantity of firewood applies

The maximum limit of firewood allowed is 2m3 per person daily and 16m3 per household for a financial year.

  • Green wood collected in state forests

You should be aware that wood collected from state forests is wet wood, which means that it would have to be dried or seasoned for at least 12 months before it can be used as a safe fuel source.

  • Collect only felled trees

The Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning in Victoria makes provision for only felled or fallen trees to be collected.

  • Vehicle rules applicable

Vehicles up to 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass (GVM) including the trailer can be used in the specified firewood collection areas. No heavy machinery such as bulldozers, cranes or tractors are allowed. Vehicles should stay on formed roads and not veer off tracks.

Lower your home’s heating costs even further by collecting free firewood from state forest designated areas. You need to do this a year in advance as forest wood has to be fully dried out before placing in your wood heater.

If you want to make winter evenings extra cosy by installing a quality wood burning stove, contact us today!

What Are The Environmental Effects Of A Wood Burning Fireplace?

For many people, the misconceptions of the environmental impacts of a wood burning fireplace prevent them from experiencing the true benefits of what a wood heater can offer.

More often than not, environmental concerns such as increasing air pollution are associated to wood-burning fireplaces; however, these outdated assumptions are often not entirely true.

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Preparing Your Wood Heater For Winter

With winter well on its way, many Melbourne families with wood burning fireplaces will be looking to maximise their heating solution by preparing it properly now.

Make certain your wood burning fireplace is safer to operate, provides cleaner heating, and is more cost-effective to reduce your utilities budget. Turn up the heat and improve the air quality in your home with these practical steps on preparing your wood heater for winter.

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Questions To Ask Yourself Before Deciding On What Fireplace To Install

A wood burning fireplace is universally agreed to be the one feature in any home that creates both a centrepiece attraction for you and your guests, as well as great heating source during these cold winter months. The question is, what type of fireplace will suit your home the best?

Here are a series of questions you should ask yourself before deciding on what fireplace to install in your home:

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Your Guide To Reducing Your Energy Costs This Winter

When winter comes around, the magnitude of our electricity and energy bills always seem to come as a surprise, and a shock. However, it is only ourselves to blame since we do not always conserve the energy we have in effective ways. If you want to conserve more energy at home, here are some useful tips to reduce your bills considerably:

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Why Wood Burning Fireplaces Are Back In Fashion

Australian homeowners are finding wood burning fireplaces more attractive than ever before, with a great deal of homes across the country now opting for wood heaters over gas. We have the reasons why wood burning fireplaces are coming back in fashion.

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How To Reduce Smoke Pollution From Your Wood Burning Fireplace

An excess of smoke when using your slow combustion wood burning fireplace can be the result of burning firewood incorrectly, or burning the wrong wood, whether it’s a fireplace indoors or a campsite outdoors. The smoke produced by a fire contains particulate emissions, so it’s important to know the correct way to operate your wood burning fire so you can reduce your emissions and have a fire that works perfectly.
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Where To Put A Freestanding Fireplace In Your Home

Nowadays, fireplaces are more than just a way to stay warm; they are a statement and a centrepiece in your home. You can have one installed in almost any space in your house, and you have many styles to choose from amongst the different freestanding and insert wood burning fireplaces. Let’s take a look at where about in your house you could put your fireplace:

  • Freestanding:

Freestanding allows you to place it anywhere you want, as long as it is attached to a flue. So the good news is that your choices are much wider for a freestanding than an insert. You do need to keep in mind that with freestanding units, that there are clearances to walls and requirements for hearths to protect your floor.

If you’re looking to host lots of family and friends, then your living or dining room would be the best location in your home to put your fireplace. You’ll be able to keep your guests warm and comfortable, as well as show off your new masterpiece.

If you’d prefer to create extra heat in your bedroom to keep you warm on those chilly nights and mornings, then you have that option as well.

  • Insert:

Whilst insert fireplaces create a more grand look and offer great heating solutions, you’re more limited in your location choices by the fact it can only be mounted in a wall, or have a bulkhead built out to house the unit and flue if there is no opening available.

Therefore, a previous fireplace generally needs to exist to place an insert in that same location, which is usually found in living rooms. If you find that the opening you have for an existing fireplace is too small to house a slow combustion insert, and you would still like to have a real wood fire, you do have the option of installing an open wood fireplace.

If you’re on the lookout for a new wood burning fireplace, it’s best to first plan on which one you should get and where in your house you can best see it fit.

If you are still unsure which type will suit your needs, be sure to get in contact with our experienced and helpful team for further advice.

Top Tips To Maximise Your Wood Burning

If you are conscious of your carbon footprint, but still want to enjoy a fire during winter, consider the wood you use for your fireplace fuel. A surprising fact is that wood is actually more CO2-friendly when burnt versus when it’s left to rot naturally, and wood is not a scarce resource as it is always being grown and used in other industries.

The best types of wood to use in your fireplace can vary from state to state depending on availability, so ask your firewood supplier for what is most suitable for the type of fireplace you own.

Now that you have your wood choices available to you, let’s look at some tips to help you burn your wood effectively:

  1. Only burn wood that is seasoned or very dry, as wood that is moist (green) not burn properly. Your fireplace will not be able to reach its peak heat output or high-efficiency rate if you use green wood.
  2. Don’t burn painted or treated wood, as there are chemicals which should not be burnt on treated wood.
  3. Make sure your fireplace has unobstructed access to air. Having your chimney or flue swept will help prevent any blockages.
  4. Watch those levels of smoke! If your fire is smouldering and not holding a fire, your wood may have too much moisture in it, or there is not enough air feeding the fire.
  5. If you are chopping your own wood, cut down your logs to the required size for your firebox before stacking them to dry out. When stacking your green wood, make sure there is plenty of airflow around the logs, and that they are shielded from the weather so they can season properly.
  6. When first loading and lighting your fire, check which configuration you should be loading your wood in. Some manufacturers recommend lighting in an east-west configuration, others in a north-south manner. Check your owner’s manual for more information.
  7. After you’ve lit your fire and have a good base of coals, you can start to add larger pieces of wood and turn down your primary air control to allow for a low, slow burn. Check out this great video for tips on top-down lighting.

For other wood-burning advice or questions about your fireplace, don’t hesitate to contact usanytime.

Related Tag: Wood Burning Stoves

Where To Place Your Furniture Near A Fireplace

Congratulations on investing in a brand new Quadra-fire fireplace for your home. You’ll be enjoying it for many years to come, so make sure that you place it in a manner that ensures the maximum enjoyment – while also ensuring your safety. An optimised layout will ensure it won’t get in the way when not in use, while still providing maximum heat to your surroundings during the colder months. Here are a few factors worth considering when placing a fireplace in your home. Read more