Key findings by CSIRO, the Australia Commonwealth Government’s chief scientific agency, reveal that firewood produces less greenhouse gas than all other domestic heating options. These findings finally end the debate about the most effective home heating method from an environmental perspective.

The CSIRO findings were backed by accepted national and international protocols for assessing greenhouse gas emissions from biomass. Following the release of the research results, the NSW Government introduced changes to its Building Sustainability Index system (BASIX) awarding a very low greenhouse gas emission rating for residential wood-fire heating, thus confirming that wood heaters not only have lower emissions than a 5 star gas heater or a 6 star reverse cycle air conditioner, but are better than every other type of domestic heating system.

Homeowners can now meet the tough BASIX ratings more easily when building or renovating with the simple addition of a wood heater to their design. Wood fireplaces range from state-of-the-art, modern freestanding wood heaters to traditional hearths.

SCHOTT Australia has created, a one-stop-information-shop for the growing number of consumers who do their initial research on fireplaces online. A great resource of useful fireplace information, the website provides a comprehensive catalogue of fireplaces from classic to contemporary together with a list of retailers.

Lesley Aitkin, Marketing and Sales Director at SCHOTT Australia explains that the new atmosfire site is equally beneficial to those upgrading existing fireplaces as well as new buyers. A traditional wood fireplace could potentially heat 50m², but the latest slow combustion fireplaces on the market could potentially heat 250m² in the right home, while using at least 30% less fuel.

According to Ms Aitkin, adding the advanced technology of SCHOTT ROBAX glass ceramic windows will allow the homeowner to see the flames while still enjoying the increased efficiency. She adds that SCHOTT is helping households maximise the heat from every log while enjoying the beauty of their fires.

According to Lachlan Gales of the award winning Ovens and King Builders, fireplaces are an easily installed, functional and efficient design feature that adds warmth to a home and boosts its resale value.

Lachlan explains that fireplaces are a very easy addition to the home space, bringing both warmth and charm, and adding liveability and monetary value to any home. Sustainably harvested wood used in airtight, slow combustion wood fireplaces provides excellent energy efficiency and reduces costs.

Designers, architects and builders are increasingly using the SCHOTT platform to find fireplaces that enhance living spaces while also reducing their carbon footprint. Modern fireplaces are also increasingly incorporating the advanced technology of SCHOTT ROBAX glass ceramic windows into their design, making flame heating exceptionally efficient and safe while maintaining the romance of the naked flame.

The Australian Home Heating Association (AHHA) says the CSIRO research and the BASIX response from the NSW Government place wood fired heaters ahead of other forms of domestic heating in terms of affordability and environmental benefits.

Top Tips from AHHA for safe, efficient and affordable use of wood heaters:

  • Make sure the wood heater is properly installed by a qualified installer
  • Get your wood heater serviced each year in spring or early summer
  • Use kindling wood, paper and firelighters to get the fire started
  • Add larger pieces of wood only after a hot bed of coals has been established
  • Leave air controls open for at least 15-20 minutes to start the fire and when re-loading
  • Don’t close air supply totally overnight – a little air avoids a lot of smoke
  • A wood heater will burn better with three or four smaller logs rather than one or two large ones
  • Insulate your home, close doors and curtains to conserve heat but allow enough fresh air for efficient combustion