Wood Stoves and our Environment & Forests
Before the invention of the Franklin stove, open fireplaces heated homes. Burning several dozen cords of firewood each season was the norm. The Franklin stove, though very inefficient, was a great improvement and opened the door to the woodstove industry in the USA.
By the 1970s wood stove owners were buying the “airtights” and found them to be more fuel efficient but at the expense of air quality and also presenting a heightened danger of chimney fires
Before purchasing a non EPA bargain or used stove, consider the below advice from the EPA.
Today’s wood stove models feature improved safety and efficiency. They produce almost no smoke, minimal ash, and require less firewood. While older uncertified stoves release 15 to 30 grams of smoke per hour; new EPA-certified stoves produce only 2 to 7 grams of smoke per hour. Be sure to look for the EPA certification label on the back of the stove. Check the current list of EPA-certified wood stoves (PDF). (21 pp, 703k, About PDF) You should also check for safety labelling by the Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada (ULC) or another testing and certification body.
The internal design of wood stoves has changed entirely since the EPA issued standards of performance for new wood stoves in 1988. EPA's mandatory smoke emission limit for wood stoves is 7.5 grams of smoke per hour (g/h) for non-catalytic stoves and 4.1 g/h for catalytic stoves. (Wood stoves offered for sale in the state of Washington must meet a limit of 4.5 g/h for non-catalytic stoves and 2.5 g/h for catalytic stoves.)
Stove manufacturers have improved their combustion technologies over the years, and now some newer stoves have certified emissions in the 1 to 4 g/h range. When comparing models, look for the EPA white label on the stove - a lower g/h rating means a cleaner, more efficient wood stove.
To read the complete article go to http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/woodstoves.html