Is your wood-burning stove EPA-certified?

In 2020 wood-burning stove emissions will be reduced.

In 2020, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is gearing up for revisions on their standards for residential wood-burning stoves. On May 15, 2020, the EPA will finalize and release these guidelines. All sales of wood-burning stoves after this date will have to meet the new standards of emissions. These standards will reduce smoke pollution emissions to 2.0 grams of smoke per hour (g/h)! A lower g/h rating means a cleaner, more efficient wood stove. Note, these new guidelines will apply to the manufacture and sale of new residential wood heating devices and do not apply to existing wood stoves and other wood heaters installed in peoples’ homes.

Don’t run out and buy a new wood-stove, but think about this. How clean is your stove burning? Could it be more efficient? Efficiency means less fuel and lower costs for you. Since 2015 the EPA has been working to update the guidelines of the emissions rates on wood-burning units, before this the last update was from 1988. Over 30 years ago!

To meet the new guidelines coming in 2020, stoves typically will use a hybrid-style design combining a non-catalytic and catalytic combuster

What is the difference between a non-catalytic and catalytic combuster stove?

Non-catalytic stoves have three internal characteristics that do create a good environment for complete combustion. These are firebox insulation, a large baffle to produce a longer, hotter gas flow path, and pre-heated combustion air introduced through small holes above the fuel in the firebox. 

In catalytic combustion stoves, the smoky exhaust is passed through a coated ceramic honeycomb inside the stove where the smoke gases and particles ignite and burn. Catalytic stoves are capable of producing a long, even heat output. All catalytic stoves have a lever-operated catalyst bypass damper which is opened for starting and reloading. The catalytic honeycomb degrades over time and must be replaced, but its durability is largely in the hands of the stove user. However, the catalyst can last more than six seasons if the stove is used properly. The catalyst may break down in as little as 2 years if; the stove is over-fired, inappropriate fuel is burned, and if regular cleaning and maintenance are not done.

Check the EPA database to see if your wood-burning stove is certified.

Visit the local retailers in our area to find one that complies with the new standards.


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