Woodstoves and wood-burning fireplaces add warmth, comfort and ambiance to many homes, especially in cold-weather states like ours. The appliances also can add something else to the air in our neighborhoods and the atmosphere: pollution. Woodstoves add to the particulate matter in the air, which is bad for our lungs, and they add detrimental gases to the atmosphere. The EPA is trying to reduce the impact woodstoves and fireplaces have on the environment with new regulations.
What the regulations mean
Under the new EPA regulations for woodstoves and wood-burning fireplace inserts, which went into effect last year, the appliances will have to decrease the amount of particulate matter emitted per hour to no more than 2.5 grams per hour. That’s significant because levels of particulate matter in the air have been linked to higher instances of heart disease, cancer and other illnesses. The effects can be so significant, in fact, that some cities have banned wood burning and wood-burning appliances altogether.
For homes that have existing wood-burning appliances, the new regulations won’t be a cause for concern. However, should you choose to upgrade your woodstove or install a wood-burning fireplace insert, you’ll only be able to choose from new, more efficient EPA-certified models.
How you benefit from the new regulations
For consumers who choose to install new woodstoves or wood-burning fireplaces, there are some significant advantages. Of course, everyone benefits from a cleaner environment, but wood-burning fireplaces dirty the air in your home as well as the air in your neighborhood. Installing an EPA-certified woodstove can drastically improve your indoor air quality, making your family healthier. The improvement is especially significant if you have an open-hearth fireplace, which have long been discouraged by the EPA and groups like the American Lung Association.
The woodstoves also burn hotter and can help you burn less wood and lower your home-heating bills. The stoves are required to be 85 percent more efficient, and they achieve that by using catalytic converters and vents to reduce air flow, and they use steel tubes to recirculate and re-combust gas. That means that the stoves create hotter fires and return more of your fire’s heat to your home.
Installing a new woodstove or fireplace
If you’re interested in capitalizing on the benefits of the new EPA regulations, call the fireplace experts at FireSide Hearth & Home. We can talk to you about your fireplace needs. We can evaluate your space and your existing fireplace and help you determine your options for selecting a new EPA-certified woodstove or wood-burning fireplace insert.
FireSide Hearth & Home can help you reduce your carbon footprint, improve your indoor air quality and reduce your home heating bills by helping you select the EPA-certified stove or fireplace that meets your home’s needs!