Brrrrr, it’s cold, and there’s nothing like a fire to warm the soul!
With the weather that has just rolled through off the back of a relatively mild winter, no doubt everybody would have had their fire lit and cranking long into the night.
From a purchasing point of view, a fire (especially if it is going) can be a big drawcard to the feel of the home. It can create a cosy atmosphere that on these cold bleary days is a source of heat and comfort that is hard to rival.
However, something to be aware of, and this is important, is whether your fire is legal. Your burner’s installation date determines whether it is still legal to use, and until when.

How do I know if my fire complies?

Below is a quick guide to the new rules for home heating in the Invercargill airshed

  • Open Fires – Prohibited
  • Burner Installed before January 1997 – Prohibited (from Jan 2019)

(Note: This is a red flag. You, as a buyer, need to be aware of these rules. A vendor/tenant may not be aware of the rules that have come into effect.  So, if a fire is going, do not assume it’s legal.)

  • Burner Installed 1 Jan 1997 – 1 Jan 2001 – Good until 1 January 2022
  • Burner Installed 1 Jan 2001 – 1 Sept 2005 – Good until 1 January 2025
  • Burner Installed 1 Sept 2005 – 1 January 2010 – Good until 1 January 2030*
  • Burner installed 1 January 2010 – 6th Sept 2014 – Good until January 2034*

*Note:  If your wood burner was installed after Sept 2005, it may be an approved burner and not require replacement. In summary, these rules are to meet the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality, which has been set by the Government.  There are currently no compliant multi-fuel or coal burners.  

If you view a home and it has a burner operating – do not assume this burner is compliant.  It is up to you to do your research and determine that the burner is compliant.

The council should have the information about when a burner was installed and if it has consented with the law. A LIM Report would contain this information. The council would also be able to advise on the consent process to replace the burner.