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Tuesday, 06 August 2019 16:11

Emission Standards for Residential Wood Stoves/Heater

On March 16, 2015 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published final emission standards for new residential wood heaters, including wood stoves, pellet stoves, hydronic heaters, and forced air furnaces. Although the EPA is an American Government Agency, their rules and regulations affect the wood/pellet stoves sold here in Canada. These new standards do not currently apply in Ontario, however since the largest North American market is the USA, manufacturers will always design new products to their standards.

The standard is being implemented in steps. Step 1 took effect on May 15, 2015, and Step 2 will become effective on May 15, 2020. Any products sold after May 15, 2020 at the retail level must conform to the standard. Products purchased/in-use at the time of implementation will not be affected.

Step 1: Emissions limit of 4.5g/hr of particulate matter.

Step 2: Emissions limit of 2.0g/hr of particulate matter.

What is “Particulate Matter”?

Particulate matter (PM) consists of airborne particles in solid or liquid form, it can also be a mixture of both. PM is small enough to be carried by air and breathed into your lungs. It ranges from 0.005 to 100 microns in diameter; as a comparison, the average diameter of a human hair is 60 microns

Why is residential wood smoke a concern?

Residential wood smoke can contribute to unhealthy levels of PM. It contains a mixture of fine particles and toxic air pollutant including, carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOC), toxic air pollutants (e.g., benzene and formaldehyde), and climate forcing emissions (e.g., methane and black carbon), that can cause burning eyes, runny nose, and bronchitis. Exposure to fine particles has also been associated with a range of health effects, including aggravation of heart or respiratory problems, changes in lung function and increased respiratory symptoms, as well as premature death. Populations that are at greater risk for experiencing health effects related to fine particle exposures include older adults, children and individuals with preexisting heart or lung disease.

What products are impacted?

• Wood Stoves

• Pellet Stoves

• Wood Heaters

• Forced Air Furnaces

• Hydronic Heaters

What products are NOT impacted?

• Outdoor Fireplaces

• Pizza Ovens

• Barbecues

• Chimineas (free-standing outdoor chimneys)

• New/Existing heaters fueled solely by oil, gas, or coal.

What do I need to know as an operator of a residential wood stove/heater?

The standards have the most significant impact on manufacturers, but as an operator some provisions are applicable to you. Specifically, the rule sets requirements for the type of fuel that may be used to operate your residential wood stove/heater. It prohibits the burning of garbage, yard waste, tires, plastic, waste petroleum products, paint containing asbestos, construction/demolition waste, paper products, railroad ties, pressure-treated wood, animal remains, unseasoned wood, and salt water driftwood. To ensure you’re following federal regulations, always operate your equipment in accordance with the owner’s manual.


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