Woodstove Emission Regulations Decrease Air Pollution

John Gulland shares information on how woodstove emission regulations have decreased air pollution and improved air quality.
By John Gulland
December 2001/January 2002
Add to My MSN

Woodstove emission regulations make changes in air quality.
PHOTO: FOTOLIA/BETSY BARANSKI


Content Tools

Related Content

MAX Update No. 43: Testing Aerodynamics With a Clear Car

At the time, it seemed like a clear car was a good idea.

Ventrac Unveils 4500Y Diesel-Powered Tractor

The new Ventrac 4500Y tractor is most suitable for those maintaining large acreages of property.

EPA to Tighten Standards on Lawn Equipment

New EPA regulations require 35 percent reduced emissions from lawn-care equipment by 2011.

Winter Warmth

Heat your home with wood or sun light with these DIY plans for a heat grabber and outdoor wood burni...

Learn how woodstove emission regulations have improved air quality.

Federal Emission Regulations

During the 1980s, smoky, old woodstoves were blamed for ruining the air quality in a number of valley towns in the Northwest. In response, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) forced all new woodstoves to meet smoke emission limits that many observers thought were impossibly stringent. But over the years stove makers have not only managed to meet the limits, but have done so while improving overall stove performance because of the woodstove emission regulations. While it has been argued (sometimes even in these pages) that the EPA regulation is odious because it applies all over the country and unfairly penalizes rural folks in areas where there is no one close by to be bothered by their smoke, I think the EPAs intervention was one of the best things that ever happened to wood burning. Here are a few of the intentional and unintended benefits.

• Air pollution has been cut dramatically; about 90 percent compared to previous equipment.
• The regulations reduced the unsubstantiated performance claims and advertising hype that some manufacturers used.
• The government intervention unleashed a gusher of research investment; we now know much more about how wood burns and further advances continue to be made.
• Ultimately the EPA rules boosted stove efficiency by about one-third on average, which saves householders money and means less pressure on our forest resources.

Proof that the EPA regulation is responsible for all these benefits is that there have been virtually no technical advances in the categories of wood burning equipment that were exempt from the rules-furnaces, boilers, cookstoves and fireplaces.

Seeing the Fire Through Glass Doors

The second great development in the world of wood heat is the combination of heat-resistant ceramic glass for stove doors and the "air-wash" system that keeps the glass clear. An air wash system delivers the combustion air down between the glass and the fire, and prevents the smoke from sticking. The advantages are more than just aesthetic. It allows the user to manage the fire precisely and makes smoldering smoky fires much less likely. Most important, stay-clear glass doors improved the enjoyment of heating with a woodstove and made it a welcome addition to a living or family room.

Together, the EPA smoke emission rules and clear glass doors have transformed the wood stove from a funky, hulking box to a user-friendly heating system that delivers great efficiency and is a joy to watch burn.








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.