The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized a new standard that sets more stringent emissions requirements for wood-burning stoves. For the first time, the standard also covers hydronic heaters, indoor wood-fired forced-air furnaces and single burn-rate woodstoves.
Proposed emissions standards for masonry heaters were not included in the final rule. It is also important to note that the standard does not apply to devices already installed and in house, nor does it cover fireplaces, fire pits, pizza ovens, barbecues or chimineas.
EPA expects to see a notable drop in emissions once the rule is fully in place. Fine particle and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions should go down by about 70% while carbon monoxide emissions are estimated to be 62% lower.
To allow manufacturers sufficient time to transition to the new standards and comply with emissions testing requirements, EPA is requiring work practice standards beginning on Feb. 3 and phasing in the new emission limits over five years.
The exact timing of and Step 1 emission limits vary by furnace type and size. However, all heaters must meet the Step 2 emissions limits within five years after the final rule is published, or 2020.
This is the first time EPA has revised the clean air standard for residential wood heaters since it was first adopted in 1988. EPA has more information about controlling air pollution from residential wood heaters.