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Choosing Wood Burning Appliances

When choosing your wood burning appliance, consider efficiency, emissions, and the size of the space you’ll be heating. The cleanest wood-burning appliances are marked with EPA-certified and EPA-qualified labels.

Your local hearth retailer can help you make the best choice and provide you with options to suit your needs and budget.

Types of wood burning appliances

If you choose to heat your home with wood, use the cleanest wood-burning appliance possible. People heat their homes with a variety of appliances – either as a primary source of heat, as supplemental heat, or for ambiance.

What is the difference between an EPA-certified and EPA-qualified appliance?

An EPA-certified appliance must meet regulatory emission requirements established by EPA. After May 15, 2015, the following appliances must meet regulatory emission limits:

• Wood and pellet stoves (including fireplace inserts)
• Fireplace inserts
• Hydronic heaters (outdoor wood boilers)
• Forced air furnaces (not in effect until May 15, 2016 for small units and May 15, 2017 for large units)

Fireplaces and masonry heaters are not currently regulated or certified by EPA. However, manufacturers may choose to meet voluntary EPA emission standards. Appliances meeting these requirements are “EPA-qualified,” and burn more cleanly than older, unqualified models. Check your state or local air quality agency to determine the types of wood-burning appliances that are approved for use in your area.

Alternative wood-heating options

In addition to wood-burning appliances there are also alternative heating options, including:

• Gas stoves
• Decorative fireplace gas logs


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