KELOWNA – Under the wood stove exchange program Kelowna will receive $10,000 in provincial funding to encourage homeowners to trade in their smoky old wood stoves for a new high-efficiency appliance.
“You may not think of wood-burning stoves as something that can be improved upon, but these stoves burn less wood, reducing consumption, and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 70 per cent – that makes a huge difference.” – Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick
“Many Okanagan citizens suffer from breathing difficulties caused by particulate matter emitted by older wood stoves. This exchange program helps everyone breathe easier and reduces fuel consumption for homeowners.” – Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart
“In many B.C. communities, older wood stoves are one of the most significant sources of air pollution. A new wood or pellet stove will make a substantial difference in air quality and reduce the harmful effects of wood smoke.” – Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson
Wood smoke contains tiny particles called particulate matter (PM). Particulate matter that is 2.5 microns or less in diameter, called PM2.5, is small enough to be breathed into the deepest parts of the lungs. It is associated with all sorts of health problems, from a runny nose and coughing, to bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, heart disease and even premature death.
- Earlier this year, the Province provided $200,000 to the BC Lung Association to continue and expand the successful wood stove exchange program into 2012. Dealers, manufacturers and suppliers may also offer additional discounts.
Following good burning techniques is just as important as using a high-efficiency model of wood stove.
- Dry, seasoned wood burns best. Firewood should be seasoned by splitting and stacking it in the spring. Woodpiles should be protected from rain and snow, but still have good air circulation.
Burn only clean, dry wood. Never burn green, wet, painted or treated wood – including plywood. Never burn household garbage.
- Create small, bright fires by using small pieces of kindling to start the fire and keep it moderately hot, adding larger pieces of split wood as required. Do not damper down the fire more than necessary because that produces more smoke.
- Watch for signs of incomplete burning, such as visible smoke coming from the chimney or long, lazy flames in the firebox. Opening the dampers will allow more air into the stove and improve the fire’s efficiency.
- Where possible, avoid burning on poor air quality days.
- Further rebates are available through:
- the LiveSmart BC Efficiency Incentive Program: www.livesmartbc.ca/incentives/efficiency-home/index.html
- the federal ecoENERGY Retrofit grants: http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/grants.cfm
- Air quality readings for communities around B.C.: www.bcairquality.com/readings