North American Coalition for Maintaining Mother Earth

Posted by Leland On October - 20 - 2015 0 Comment

If you’re one of the many that has a wood burning stove, it’s time to pay attention to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In the beginning of 2015, the EPA finished its new set of regulations for wood burning heaters and stoves–a regulation that had not been updated since the 1980s. The EPA updated its regulations in response to strengethen clean air standards for residential wood heaters and stoves. Ultimately, the government agency wants to improve air quality by cracking down on wood burners.

Wood-burning-stoveWhat does this mean for the wood stove industry?

It means a lot, actually. But consumers won’t see much change until five years from now in 2020. Starting in 2016, stoves cannot emit more than 4.5 grams an hour of particulates and after May 15, 2020, more than 2 grams an hour. The EPA’s new standards are slow to take effect, but definitey focused on helping the environment. At the same time, the wood stove industry where uncertified stoves are sold very cheap will no longer be available for purchase starting 2016. These stoves tend to be on the cheaper side–and usually from other countries than the U.S.

Because of these regulations, it will cost manufacturers $46 million to comply, ultimately making stoves more expensive. There are some manufacturers, however, that have stated the cost is too high to meet the standards. Some manufacturers are stating that with the cost to comply, their stove prices could increase by $300-$400 in 2020. The rules, however, don’t apply to anyone’s existing residential burners or fireplaces–the EPA considers them “too inefficient” to be considered heaters to begin with.

If new wood stoves and heaters can stick to the energy-efficient standards of the EPA, then they should be fine. There are, however, other alternatives or more energy-efficient wood stoves.

What are the other alternatives?

There are always other alternatives to heaters and stoves than wood burning. Rural Energy, a leading distributor of heaters, stoves and furnaces, sells wood stoves, but also oil-burning, gas-burning, and electric heating devices.


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