Wood smoke has been identified by Environment Canada as a significant source of wintertime air pollution.
There are options to heating with wood, but many people enjoy wood heat or use it as a secondary heat source.
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS), the Government of British Columbia and the Lung Association of British Columbia are doing their best to educate residents on the use of new technology.
At the Princeton Burn it Smart Workshop held at the Skills Center last week, Reid Harvey, a WETT certified professional (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) spoke with residents about planning an effective wood heat system. He instructed those present on things like; proper placement of stoves, different types of stoves, wood heat options, varied types of chimneys, right down to explaining minimum clearances to combustible materials. “Never cheat on clearances,” he said, “your house will burn down if you cheat.”
He then went on to explain that there were many rules and regulations that must be adhered to in order to be effective and maintain safety.
Tips were provided for wood burning; only burning wood that was properly seasoned ( air dried for six to 14 months and having under 20 percent moisture content), proper size (nothing longer than 16” or larger than 6” across the largest cross section), never burn garbage, plastics, cardboard, etc., and never burn treated wood, as it could release toxic chemicals. Once a year, have the system serviced by a WETT professional.
Harvey also recommended that as well as smoke detectors, Carbon Monoxide detectors should be installed in all homes burning any type of fuel.
A high efficiency wood stove, fireplace or insert that is certified to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) B415 is what should be installed if you are going to burn it smart.
These units have the capability to burn with approximately 90 percent less smoke emissions than the older stoves and fireplaces.
Cash rebates and dealer discounts are being offered until April 30. (Rebate money is limited) Get details at Princeton Builders Mart, Bob’s Stove Repair or at Paquette’s Heating. They are participating in the wood stove exchange in Princeton.
For more program information visit www.rdos.bc.ca > Departments >Public works >Air quality.