After a summer of dealing with near-constant hazardous bushfire smoke, Michelle Weston thought the rest of the year would bring about much clearer air.
But as winter rolled around and the temperature started to drop, smoke once again found its way into the asthmatic's Weston Creek home, due to multiple wood heaters being started at nearby homes.
The situation has become so bad that Ms Weston had to find another location to sleep in due to the high levels of smoke getting in, despite keeping all doors and windows shut to keep the smoke out.
"The asthma is induced by the smoke. The smoke's gotten into my furniture and clothes and into the ducted heating, which just blows the smoke back in," Ms Weston said.
"I lie down at night and try and breathe and the bedding is covered in wood smoke because of the fires."
Ms Weston said there were several wood heaters in nearby homes that were contributing to the smoke coming through into her house.
While the Weston Creek resident and her husband are long-term Canberra residents, the couple normally travel away from the ACT during the winter due to the cold weather.
As a way to try and manage the wood smoke that keeps coming into her home, Ms Weston said she had been using two large air scrubbers to filter out the smoke, but was also looking to other measures as well.
"A lot of smoke was coming up through venting in the floor and now I'm having to rip up the floor and replace it," Ms Weston said.
"By the time I do things around the home to rectify the smoke, it will cost close to $50,000."
The Weston Creek resident said she had made complaints to the ACT Environment Protection Authority about several wood heaters causing the nearby smoke.
She said the smoke levels had reduced somewhat following the complaint made to the authority.
Wood heaters have been a long-standing issue in Canberra each winter due to the levels of smoke pollution emitted from them.
While hundreds of old wood heater have been removed from Canberra homes, that number is declining.
In a normal year, the greatest impact of the ACT's air quality is the emissions from wood heaters used for space heating.ACT government spokesman
Almost 1200 wood heaters have been replaced with reverse cycle systems under an ACT government scheme since 2004.
However, just 15 were removed from Canberra homes in the 2019-20 financial year.
During 2018, 23 heaters were removed under the scheme with a further 30 removed in 2017.
It is illegal to install wood heaters in Dunlop, East O'Malley and all suburbs in the Molonglo Valley with the exception of Wright.
Restrictions on wood heaters in new suburbs are also being considered.
An ACT government spokesman said it was not known how many wood heaters had been installed in homes in the past year.
"In a normal year, the greatest impact of the ACT's air quality is the emissions from wood heaters used for space heating," the spokesman said.
"Additionally, wood heating also has an indirect ecological impact from firewood collection, especially where it is collected illegally."
Standards for new wood heaters in the ACT were implemented in September 2019, requiring an overall efficiency of no less than 55 per cent.
Ms Weston said she was trying to cope as best as she could with the smoke levels with several weeks of winter still to come.
"I had issues with the bushfire smoke earlier this year, and then the wood smoke increased the asthma and took it to another level," she said.