2010 Feb. 19: EPA: Details About Wood Heater Compliance Monitoring
February 19th, 2010 by My Efficient Planet
The Wood Heater Compliance Monitoring Program is a federal program in the United States that is managed by the Compliance Assessment and Media Programs Division at the Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters located in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the Wood Heater Compliance Monitoring Program is to promote compliance with the wood heater regulation, which has been in effect since 1988. The Environmental Protection Agency started the wood heater regulation for particulate emissions from wood heaters because products that burn wood for heat, such as wood stoves, can significantly contribute to particulate air pollution.
The Wood Heater Compliance Monitoring Program promotes the compliance with these regulations which include:
Certifying new residential wood heaters.
Approving changes in design requests for wood heaters.
Interpreting the rule language.
Conducting inspections of the facilities that make wood heaters.
Provides public access to compliance information.
Monitors compliance directly of all accredited laboratories, retailers, homeowners and manufacturers.
Responds to complaints regarding violations of the wood heater regulations.
Wood heaters in residential areas, including wood stoves, can easily pollute the air with particulates. The Wood Heater Compliance Monitoring Program certifies wood stoves for use, and these wood stoves that comply with the regulations are referred to as EPA-certified wood stoves.
The certification process for wood stoves requires the manufacturers to verify that their wood stove models meet a particulate emission limit and undergo emission testing at an Environmental Protection Agency accredited laboratory. This is to certify that the wood heater complies with the particulate emission limits of:
7.5 grams per hour for a non-catalytic wood stove.
4.1 grams per hour for a catalytic wood stove.
There are several things a manufacturer must do in order to have their model line of wood stoves EPA-certified. The manufacturer must maintain a quality assurance program for wood heaters produced on a production line, as well as affix permanent labels to each wood stove or wood heater that meets the emission standard. They must also attach a temporary label that lists:
The emission rate, as rated by an EPA-approved test method.
The heating range of the heater, so that people may purchase the correct size
Overall efficiency of the wood heater.
The wood stove regulations apply to all wood stoves that have:
A firebox volume of less than 20 cubic feet,
An air to fuel ration of less than 35 to one,
Burn rate of less than five kilograms per hour,
Total weight of less than 800 kilograms.
The chief reason that you should purchase a wood stove that has been certified by the Environmental Protection Agency is because they burn 80 per cent cleaner and are 30 per cent more efficient than an un-certified wood stove. The wood stoves that are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency are also better for the environment and for the health of people who live in that environment where wood stoves are used.
Some states and some jurisdictions throughout the United States have declared it illegal to purchase, operate, offer for sale or sell a house that contains a wood stove that is not certified by the Environmental Protection Agency wood heater program.
It is easy to determine if a wood stove has been certified by the Environmental Protection Agency. You can review the list of Environmental Protection Agency certified wood stoves at the Environmental Protection Agency website online, look for the permanent label on the front, bottom or side of the wood stove that states it is certified by the Environmental Protection Agency, or read the temporary label on a new wood stove. The permanent label on a wood stove is most often located on the front, bottom, back or side of the wood stove and specifies directly that the wood stove product meets the Environmental Protection Agency particulate emissions limit.
The temporary label is usually made of cardboard and is most often attached to the front of a new wood stove. The temporary label provides the purchaser with the information regarding the emissions rate and the efficiency rating of the wood stove purchased.
There are three basic types of wood stoves that have Environmental Protection Agency certification with the wood heater program:
1. Catalytic wood stoves that have a ceramic or metal honeycomb device that is the combustor or catalyst. The default efficiency rating for a catalytic wood stove is 72 per cent.
2. Pellet stoves that use pellets of saw dust, wood products and other biomass materials. Pellet stoves are given a default efficiency rating of 78 per cent.
3. Non-catalytic wood stoves that do not use catalysts but do have emission-reducing technology, such as baffles or secondary air chambers. The default efficiency rating for non-catalytic wood stoves is 63 per cent.
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