ECan: Old wood burners need replacing

Last updated 09:16 09/02/2013

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Although winter is still months away, Environment Canterbury is reminding residents with older wood burners to invest in a cleaner form of heating before the cold weather arrives. 

According to the Christchurch Air Plan, non-compliant wood burners 15 years and older cannot be used in winter.

Environment Canterbury's air portfolio director Katherine Trought says the requirement is one of the rules designed to help the city's air become less polluted and therefore healthier for residents.

Clean heat options include a new approved wood burner, pellet fire, flued gas fire or heat pump.

Although the rule has been in force since 2010, over the last two winters following the earthquakes, ECan had been lenient with residents living in damaged houses. 

"Over the last two winters we've taken a flexible approach to this rule, but it's now time to restart thinking about how we can all work together to improve the city's air quality.

"Replacing older burners with cleaner forms of heating is a good step forward," Trought said. 

However, Trought said it was important for residents living in quake-damaged houses to keep warm with "whatever heating you have available".

"If you are this situation and want to let us know, give us a ring and we will keep a record of it until your rebuild or repair is complete."

"Poor air quality is a health issues for the community, particularly for those with respiratory illnesses. There has been a steady improvement in air quality in the city over the last decade and it's important we keep up the momentum," she said. 

Environment Canterbury would be sending letters to people who have older burners to remind them of the rule and the need to invest in a cleaner form of heating before winter.

Homeowners can also check their wood burner age on the Environment Canterbury website

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- The Press

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