Wood stove exchange program turfs 'old smoky'

Environment Tuesday, November 22, 2011 2:35 PM

MERRITT - Merritt received $13,745 from the wood stove exchange program to encourage residents to trade in their smoky old wood stoves for a high-efficiency model or other clean-burning appliance, Environment Minister Terry Lake announced today.

Earlier this year, the Province provided $200,000 to the BC Lung Association to continue and expand the successful wood stove exchange program into 2012. The funding allows Merritt and other participating communities to offer a $250 rebate on the purchase of a new wood stove, insert, pellet stove or gas stove/fireplace. Dealers, manufacturers and suppliers may also offer additional discounts.

New high-efficiency wood stoves are proven to burn one-third less wood, reduce emissions by up to 70 per cent and significantly reduce the risk of chimney fires. The approximately 116,000 older model stoves currently in use around the province can affect the health of homeowners, their neighbours and overall airshed health.

Wood smoke contains tiny particles called particulate matter (PM). Particulate matter that is 2.5 microns or less in diameter, called PM2.5, is small enough to be breathed into the deepest parts of the lungs. It is associated with all sorts of health problems, from a runny nose and coughing, to bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, heart disease and even premature death.

Quick Facts:

Following good burning techniques is just as important as using a high-efficiency model of wood stove.

  • Dry, seasoned wood burns best. Firewood should be seasoned by splitting and stacking it in the spring. Woodpiles should be protected from rain and snow, but still have good air circulation.
  • Burn only clean, dry wood. Never burn green, wet, painted or treated wood - including plywood. Never burn household garbage.
  • Create small, bright fires by using small pieces of kindling to start the fire and keep it moderately hot, adding larger pieces of split wood as required. Do not damper down the fire more than necessary because that produces more smoke.
  • Watch for signs of incomplete burning, such as visible smoke coming from the chimney or long, lazy flames in the firebox. Opening the dampers will allow more air into the stove and improve the fire's efficiency.
  • Where possible, avoid burning on poor air quality days.

Learn More:

Further rebates are available through:

the LiveSmart BC Efficiency Incentive Program: www.livesmartbc.ca/incentives/efficiency-home/index.html

the federal ecoENERGY Retrofit grants: http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/grants.cfm

Air quality readings for communities around B.C.: www.bcairquality.com/readings


Suntanu Dalal
Ministry of Environment
250 387-9745

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