Woodstove Information

Woodstove Information

WARNING! UNCERTIFIED WOODSTOVES

Uncertified woodstoves may not be sold, bartered or given away.
Uncertified woodstoves may not be installed or relocated.
When removed, uncertified woodstoves must be made inoperable.

 

Pollution from old uncertified stoves contributes to asthma, lung cancer and heart disease.

Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency will pay you for your old uncertified wood burning devices up to $250.00 call for details.

Question? Concerns?
Call (509) 834-2050
Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency

Wood Smoke Impacts Yakima Air Quality

Wood Stove Change Out Program.

Funding Available Now !

Call 509-834-2050 Ext.100 for more details.

 

I have an older wood stove, but it still burns fine, so it's okay to use, right?

Older stoves are likely to be uncertified for the State of Washington. What that means in practical and health-related terms is a lot more pollution in your neighborhood and in your home. What it means in legal terms is that if originally it was installed in accordance with the laws in place at that time, you may legally continue to use it during most of the year the exception being that it may not be used during a Burn Ban unless it is the one and only source of home heat.

What’s the difference between different types of wood burning devices?

Non-Certified Wood Stoves - Pollute more, use 30% to 60% more fuel and require more frequent chimney cleaning 
Certified Stoves - Heat better with less wood because they burn more of the combustible gases that become smoke in fireplaces and old stoves The PM10 pollution (larger size particles measuring approximately 1/5 the diameter of a human hair) from one old stove equals that of 10 EPA certified stoves and three thousand gas furnaces, producing the same amount of heat. Non-catalytic Stoves Use baffles or a second combustion chamber to mix combustible gas with air, burning them more completely. Catalytic Stoves Allow gases to burn at lower temperatures, complete smoke combustion and heat at 500-700 degrees F Pellet Stoves Burn cleaner than cordwood stoves, use air to blow air through a heat exchanger and back into the room.


Source: Washington State Department of Ecology.

Is my woodstove certified?

Sometimes it is difficult to tell.

  1. If you know the manufacturer's name and which model of stove you have, you may consult a listing of certified wood burning devices for the State of Washington If you find your particular stove listed, then it is indeed certified for use, sale or resale in the State of Washington. Washington State standards for wood stove emissions are more strict than the EPA standards. If you consult a list produced by EPA, which lists all EPA (federal) certified stoves and their emissions test levels, make sure that if your stove is listed, it conforms to Washington emission requirements:
    1. For catalytic wood stoves or inserts, the emissions must test to 2.5 grams per hour or less.
    2. For non- catalytic wood stoves or inserts, the emissions must test to 4.5 grams of particulates per hour or less.
    3. Certified wood stoves and fireplace inserts should have a metallic tag (approximately 3" by 6") attached to the device, usually on an exterior surface, often on the back of the stove. It will indicate that the device (stove, insert) meets the federal emissions standards. The State of Washington does not yet affix such a tag to wood burning devices.
  2. As a general rule of thumb, if you know that your stove or insert was manufactured prior to 1994, then it most likely does not meet Washington State emission standards.
My neighbor is selling his old wood stove. It's a beauty and it works great, but I can't find a certification tag on it. He says it is certified. Can I legally go ahead and put it in my home?

Perhaps, but probably not. Any stove offered for sale or re-sale in Washington State must meet Washington State emission standards. If you can prove that your neighbors stove does meet them, then you are good to go; if you cannot, then steer clear. Besides, from a health standpoint, if its really not certified, you're not doing yourself or your family or neighbors any favors by installing an inefficient wood stove and you'll be using more wood than a certified stove would use.

  1. If you know the manufacturer's name and which model of stove you have, you may consult a listing of certified wood burning devices for the State of Washington If you find your particular stove listed, then it is indeed certified for use, sale or resale in the State of Washington. Washington State standards for wood stove emissions are more strict than the EPA standards. If you consult a list produced by EPA, which lists all EPA (federal) certified stoves and their emissions test levels, make sure that if your stove is listed, it conforms to Washington emission requirements:
    1. For catalytic wood stoves or inserts, the emissions must test to 2.5 grams per hour or less.
    2. For non- catalytic wood stoves or inserts, the emissions must test to 4.5 grams of particulates per hour or less.
    3. Certified wood stoves and fireplace inserts should have a metallic tag (approximately 3' by 6') attached to the device, usually on an exterior surface, often on the back of the stove. It will indicate that the device (stove, insert) meets the federal emissions standards. The State of Washington does not yet affix such a tag to wood burning devices.
  2. As a general rule of thumb, if you know that your stove or insert was manufactured prior to 1994, then it most likely does not meet Washington State emission standards.
I know air pollution is bad, but just “how bad” is it?

Research clearly shows that having lungs full of pollution from particulates, (tiny particles of material smaller than the width of a human hair) is associated with increased hospital stays for respiratory diseases and emergency room visits.  Breathing wood smoke during high pollution days can be as harmful as regular exposure to second-hand smoke from cigarettes.

What's in wood smoke?

Carbon monoxide- invisible and odorless; breathing in enough of this poison gas is fatal; it slows thinking and reaction time; causes heart pain; and is associated with lower birth weights and increased deaths among newborns.

Formaldehyde- causes nose and throat cancer in animals – circumstantial evidence suggests that it may cause cancer in humans.

Organic gases- includes aldehyde gases and other lung irritating chemicals which can make breathing difficult and can cause inflammation of the throat and sinuses, or allergic reactions.

Nitrogen oxides- linked to hardening of the arteries, they can lower the body’s ability to fight disease; and  may cause the spread of cancer (effects all based on animal research).

Tiny smoke particles (particulates) - can cause changes to human lung tissue which is measured decreases in human lung function; cancer to the lung tissue, and reduced resistance to infection.

Source: Washington State Department of Ecology.

How does breathing of wood smoke affect your health?

Breathing air containing wood smoke can: 
  1.  Cause lungs to function less efficiently, especially in children 
  2.  Increase severity of existing lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema, pneumonia and bronchitis 
  3.  Make heart disease worse 
  4.  Make it more likely to:
           a.  become ill with lower respiratory diseases 
           b. Irritate eyes, lungs, throat and sinuses 
           c.  Trigger headaches and allergies 
     Long term exposure to wood smoke may lead to: 
         1.  Chronic obstructive lung disease 
         2.  Chronic bronchitis 
         3.  Increased risk of cancer, and 
         4.  genetic mutations (based on animal studies) 


Source: Washington State Department of Ecology.

Whom can wood smoke harm the most?

Those who run the greatest health risk from wood smoke include:
     1. Fetuses, infants and children 
     2. People with other lung, heart, or circulatory system disease 
     3.The elderly 
     4. Allergy sufferers 
     5. Cigarette smokers and ex-smokers 

Wood smoke poses a special health threat to infants and young children. It interferes with the normal development of their lungs. Also, their risk of lower respiratory tract infections, a major cause of early childhood death and illness, increases. 


Source: Washington State Department of Ecology.

Does my neighbor’s wood burning affect me?

During the winter heating season, Washington's weather patterns often prevent good air circulation. Any pollution becomes trapped and builds up near the ground during these "stale air" periods. Unfortunately, staying indoors may not help very much. Wood smoke particles are so tiny they seep into houses-even through closed doors and windows. A recent study shows that wood smoke pollution indoors can reach up to 70 percent of the outside pollution level in homes which do not burn wood. Neighbors of wood burners may unknowingly breathe smoky air, even if they do not burn wood indoors themselves.

Source: Washington State Department of Ecology.

I burn with wood, what can I do to reduce pollution?
  1. If you heat with wood, consider cleaner alternatives such as gas, electric or oil heat and be sure your house is properly weatherized to save you money as you use energy. 
  2. If you must use wood, replace older stoves with newer, certified cleaner-burning models. 
  3. Learn the correct way to use your stove and reduce its pollution. 

Source: Washington State Department of Ecology handout #91-BR-023

Sign up for Burn Ban Alerts

Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency
329 North First Street
Yakima, WA. 98901-2303
Phone: (509) 834-2050

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