The EPA has been very strict in implementing their new guidelines on outdoor wood burning stoves as well as all appliances that create emissions. It is no doubt that Mother Nature needs a boost and we owe a lot to nature when it comes to greening and making our planet a healthier and greener place to live in.
One step in lending nature a hand is to patronize only EPA-certified appliances. But what does becoming EPA-certified really mean? An EPA-certified appliance is an appliance that adheres to regulatory emission requirements established by EPA.
At this time only wood stoves and some pellet stoves may be considered “EPA certified.” Therefore if you are thinking of purchasing a new wood stove then you need to look for an EPA certified model. By law, wood stove manufacturers may only sell wood stoves and wood stove inserts that meet EPA’s mandatory smoke emission limit of 7.5 grams of smoke per hour (g/h) for non-catalytic stoves and 4.1 g/h for catalytic stoves.
Wood stoves offered for sale in the state of Washington should have a limit of 4.5 g/h for non-catalytic stoves and 2.5 g/h for catalytic stoves.
A smart homeowner and outdoor wood stove user always checks his state or local air quality agency to be able to determine the types of wood-burning appliances that are approved for use in his area.
If you are considering the purchase of a new wood stove or wood-burning fireplace insert, or are trying to determine if your current wood stove is EPA-certified under EPA regulations, check the EPA certification label as well as the permanent metal EPA certification label on the back of the stove.
EPA’s program also encourages the development and the sale of lower emitting wood-burning fireplaces. The program includes new masonry and prefabricated fireplaces and retrofit devices for existing fireplaces. These efficient devices can reduce pollution by approximately 70% if installed properly.
Remember that a wood-burning appliance that is qualified under the EPA Voluntary Fireplace Program is not certified per EPA’s Wood Heater New Source Performance Standard. You should contact your city air quality agency to find out the different types of wood-burning appliances that are allowed in your area.
How about an outdoor wood boiler or an EPA-qualified hydronic heater
EPA also has a voluntary program to encourage manufacturers of hydronic heaters to produce cleaner models. Again, the wood-burning appliances that are qualified under the EPA’s Voluntary Hydronic Heater and Fireplace Programs are not certified per EPA’s Wood Heater New Source Performance Standard. EPA qualified units often carry a temporary hang tag on the front of the heater to demonstrate that these models have met EPA qualifications and that these appliances be considered appliances that have cleaner burning. A permanent metal EPA qualifying label may also be seen in a readily visible location on the back of the unit or inside the door. You may also find more information about these appliances online.