2010 March 31 to April 1: MN Minneapolis: COMMENTS on OWB newspaper article

2010 March 31 to April 1: MN Minneapolis: COMMENTS on OWB newspaper article
health hazard….

Everywhere in the world where wood burning is extensive, serious pollution problems result. The emissions from these things are a tremendous health hazard, especially to children and the elderly.

posted by alanmuller on Mar. 31, 10 at 10:45 PM |
I live in western Wright county and these things produce lots of smoke and odor.
posted by hammarhead1 on Mar. 31, 10 at 9:58 PM | 

Ban these things!!!

….or vent them into the owner’s home so they can enjoy 100% of the odor and soot without disturbing the neighbors!

posted by tedster on Mar. 31, 10 at 9:59 PM | 
What an incredibly ignorant comment. I suppose since you think making me cough, get sick, and have a hard time breathing that’s OK? Please tell me where you live so I can start using your yard for a toilet… It would save me a lot of money if I didn’t have to pay for sewer and just dumped my load in your house, like the smoke infiltrates houses. What an idiot!

posted by orvesta on Mar. 31, 10 at 10:52 PM |

Smoky air every day in North St. Paul

You do not need a neighbor with a wood boiler to be inundated with wood smoke. I live in North St. Paul, MN, and the air is smoky every day. In the winter you come to expect it, even though fireplaces are not used for home heating but used for recreation (wood smoke during the morning or day was rare this past winter even on weekends, but we always had smoky air in the evening). The spring, summer, and fall months are much smokier than the winter here and the cause of the smoke is recreational burning from backyard bonfires. Imagine wood smoke so heavy it burns your sinuses, burns your eyes, and makes you nauseous. We endure wood smoke like that all the time in North St. Paul. View my blog. I document the smoky air in this city every day. If the air isn’t smoky, it is a rare event. http://northsaintpaulresident.blogspot.com

posted by nspresident on Apr. 1, 10 at 4:45 AM | 

Suburban people who pretend they’re rural

As a person who grew up in a rural area, enjoyed it, and is now also happily living in Minneapolis, I never stop being irritated and amused by suburbanites who try to emulate a rural lifestyle, but in peculiar ways. If you live in a semi-dense area, for the love of god, don’t poor smoke on your neighbors. Sure it may be economical and even sentimental, but you made the choice to take the benefits of living in a suburban area, please take the responsibilities too. If I may pry into the mind of the straw-man reactionary conservative suburbanite, this seems to be part of the mentality of the person who can’t handle the thought that they are heavily dependent on and dominated by their cultural and financial masters. So they create the illusion for themselves that they are actually autonomous and provide for themselves. Hence the smoke from their wood burner is coming into your bathroom while you’re just trying to sit down and read the strib, online of course.

posted by tris0017 on Mar. 31, 10 at 11:47 PM |   

Touche’ Tris0017!

Yours was the most well reasoned and logical set of comments posted on this subject. Given that the Twin Cities is often prone to temperature inversions in the winter, it is more likely than not that the neighbor with the burner will be sending his/her smoke down your bathroom vent, especially in the late night to early morning, as the cold air overhead compresses that smoke-filled air mass ever closer to the ground. It has to go somewhere, after all, and it does not discriminate. All of the suburban jackpine savages won’t be silent about their inalienable rights to be insufferable until someone dies of asphyxiation from their neighbor’s boiler stack.

posted by petenelson on Apr. 1, 10 at 1:05 AM | 

woodpeckers will save our lungs

It won’t be long until the potential extinction of woodpeckers will limit the harvest of dead trees (yes, I’m teasing you people who love burning). If someone is willing to burn wood at the expense of their neighbors’ health, do you think they are going to spend a little more for a quality burner? Not a chance.

posted by bozo12 on Apr. 1, 10 at 7:29 AM | 

Danger to neighbors

OWBs are being shut down all across the nation. Just do a search on "Outdoor Wood Boiler" with Google. What must be understood is the particulate matter from OWBs is so concentrated that it not only poses a threat to those outdoors but also to those indoors, even with their windows closed. I provided a link to recent testimony given by a renowned toxicologist on the matter. My advice to anyone considering purchasing an OWB is to be careful because you may lose your investment. The EPA is also close to establishing strict standards. Buyers beware. http://rawsep.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!75F6190209FA8416!1683.entry?wa=wsignin1.0&sa=40198143

posted by boiler55 on Apr. 1, 10 at 5:47 AM | 

Open Windows?

FYI these boilers are also used to heat water for household use. So it is conceivable they would be used year around.

posted by PalAl on Apr. 1, 10 at 5:31 AM | 

Open Windows?

FYI these boilers are also used to heat water for household use. So it is conceivable they would be used year around.

posted by PalAl on Apr. 1, 10 at 5:31 AM | 

Biggest problem with wood burners IS particulant matter

Which is why these people don’t install them INSIDE their homes. They dump it in the air, using a cheap burner, rather than breathe it indooors. Wonder why? Hmmmmm. I do think there are quality burners that burn hotter, and do not release as much particulants. I have also heard of them being attached to the outside wall of the house, with the heat going in, and the wood/cobs kept outside.

posted by ELYMAN on Apr. 1, 10 at 7:54 AM |   


Not intended for Urban areas

Wood burners are wonderful in the rural area where the owner has access to dead wood and a great distance from his neighbor.I’ve used a wood stove(indoors) all my life. They are messy and soot gets in the house. Thats why the draw to the outdoor burner. They work great but produce alot of smoke. Best kept out of the urban setting.

posted by imcountry on Apr. 1, 10 at 8:11 AM |   


"If you don’t like it, move"

Why would you say that? You know that that isn’t possible, you can’t just up and move. I’m all for personal freedom, do whatever you want on your property as long as it doesn’t affect me. If your smoke is drifting into my house you know you are going to hear about it. Would you be ok if I decided to start stockpiling manure in my back yard?

posted by redbox99 on Apr. 1, 10 at 8:11 AM |   

Buyers beware

Wood burners, you can jump up and down all you want but the bottom-line is OWBs will be banned or strictly regulated in the very near future. Living in a rural area is not the determining factor for wood-burning but proximity to a neighbor is. A lung is a lung and it isn’t protected because someone lives in a rural area. Just as time eliminated second-hand cigarette smoke from most public places time will also eliminate OWBs. Again, buyers beware if you purchase one of these devices there is a very good chance you’ll lose your investment. You have been warned.

posted by boiler55 on Apr. 1, 10 at 9:28 AM |   


Wood burning creates terrible pollution

These are selfish people who don’t care that they pollute other people’s air. They are just as bad as smokers!

posted by dgb049 on Apr. 1, 10 at 9:20 AM |   

  These things should be required to be as close to the owners residence as they are to someone elses house and positioned in such a way so that the usual prevailing wind carriers the smoke across the owners property first. I can just imagine people installing such a device in the far back corner of their yard (don’t want it near my house) and having it belch smoke directly into their neighbors yard and house (well we never notice the smell).

posted by oftencorrect on Apr. 1, 10 at 9:11 AM |   

smitty read the article

and I quote: "Outdoor wood boilers and burners emit up to 1,000 times more than traditional indoor gas and oil furnaces."!

posted by donguti on Apr. 1, 10 at 10:15 AM |   


OWB smoke phenomenon

Folks, it just isn’t smoke coming out of wood burners it’s also air contaminants. Smoke is not the only indicator of a problem. How many times have you been around someone burning wood and couldn’t see smoke but sure could smell the putrid odor? Remember particulate matter is invisible and harmful. Most wood burning stoves do not burn hot enough to burn off pollutants and OWBs are particularly inefficient. Next time you see smoke coming out of a wood burner on a calm day notice how it sinks after exiting the chimney. This is because there is not enough heat in the smoke to cause it to rise, and cold smoke is loaded with pollutants Think of a hot air balloon. When heat is applied it rises, take away the heat and it sinks, same principle. Cold smoke falls to ground level where it interferes with neighbors’ breathable air. This is why a chimney constructed outside a home is less efficient than a chimney that protrudes through the ceiling of a home. The ambient air cools the metal of the chimney further cooling the smoke as it rises up through the chamber. Take this one step further and you should now be able to understand the problem with OWBs. The dampening of the fire when the home no longer calls for heat cools the fire and as a result produces cold smoke. When the smoke exits it hangs at ground level and fumigates surrounding properties. There is no such thing as an efficient OWB because of this phenomenon. Further, added chimney height will exacerbate the problem. This is because the chimney is outside and causes more cooling of the smoke as it rises through the cold chamber. Once it exits it falls to the ground. The only way an OWB could even come close to being efficient is if the fire burned constantly over 1000 degrees during the entire time it’s operating. This would be like running your gas furnace continually even when the house came up to temperature. OWBs will be banned or strictly regulated in the near future. Again you will lose your investment or possibly be sued by your neighbor for harming their health. It won’t matter if you live in a rural area or the city – if the air contaminants from your OWB cause a nuisance or health issue to a neighbor in proximity to the device you’ll be liable. There is already case law on this issue. In my humble opinion it’s not worth it.

posted by boiler55 on Apr. 1, 10 at 12:00 PM | 

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