Residential wood heaters, which includes wood stoves, contribute significantly to particulate air pollution. EPA has regulated wood heater particulate emissions since 1988. Wood stove model lines that are in compliance with the rule are referred to as EPA-certified wood stoves.
wood-burning heaters are a popular means of home heating, they can cause unnecessary air pollution, create an environmental nuisance for your neighbours, and waste your money through unburnt fuel if they are used inefficiently.
This information sheet tells you how to use your wood-burning heater correctly so that you can reduce air pollution while gaining maximum heating value from the wood you purchase. It includes a checklist to help make sure you’re getting the best out of your heater and provides advice to help resolve complaints between neighbours with wood smoke problems.
Indoor and outdoor wood-burning appliances and fireplaces may emit large quantities of air pollutants. Research shows that breathing wood smoke is not healthy. Wood smoke contains hundreds of chemical compounds, including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, organic gases, and fine particles (also known as particulate matter or PM). Even limited exposure to smoke can be harmful to human health, particularly to the health of children, the elderly, and those with chronic conditions. Fine particles (i.e., particles smaller than 10 microns or about 30 times smaller than a human hair), can aggravate heart or respiratory problems, such as asthma, in people of all ages. More information on health effects of exposure to wood emissions is available at the EPA website http://www.epa.gov/woodstoves/
Outdoor wood-fired hydronic heaters (OWHHs, also known as "Outdoor Wood Heaters," "Outdoor Wood Boilers," or "Outdoor Furnaces") are typically located outside the buildings they heat in small, insulated sheds with short smokestacks. They burn wood to heat liquid (water or water-antifreeze) that is piped underground to provide heat and hot water to occupied buildings such as homes, barns and greenhouses.