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 Woodstove program

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Frequently Asked Questions about the Heat Smart Program

Below are some frequently asked questions about the Heat Smart Program.

General
What is required?
Why are uncertified stoves a concern?

Stove Certification
How do I determine if my woodstove or fireplace insert is certified?
My stove does not have a label. Can I get it certified?
Can I sell my uncertified woodstove?

Devices Exempt From Removal Requirements
What wood heating devices are not required to be removed upon home sale?

Destruction Removal and Reporting Requirements
How do I remove and destroy my uncertified stove?
How do I notify the DEQ that I have removed and destroyed my stove?
Do I also have to remove an uncertified stove from my garage or shop?
Who is responsible for removing and destroying the stove?

Other Questions
What are the health concerns with woodstove smoke?
If I want to install a new woodstove or fireplace insert, what do I need to do?
Are there penalties if I don't comply with the law?
What can you tell me about EPA's proposal to tighten standards on home wood heating products?

What is required?

Oregon law requires you to remove an uncertified woodstove or fireplace insert if you are selling your home. If the stove or insert is certified there is no need to remove the stove. The 2009 Oregon Legislature passed this law helps protect people from unnecessary woodsmoke pollution.

Why are uncertified stoves a concern?

Uncertified woodstoves burn about 70 percent dirtier than certified woodstoves. They also burn far less efficiently and require more fuel than newer, certified stoves. These older, polluting stoves can remain in service for dozens of years. Removing them from service would help Oregon's efforts to restore and preserve healthy air and save homeowners money.

Stove Certification

How do I determine if my woodstove or fireplace insert is certified?

You can tell if your device is certified by looking on the back for a certification sticker from Oregon DEQ or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This label indicates it is certified to comply with particulate emission standards. A safety label (from U.L. or other safety-listing agency) is not the same as DEQ or EPA certification.

My stove does not have a label. Can I get it certified?

No. Certification is only completed by stove manufacturers when introducing a new model line (and costs between $10,000 - $15,000). To meet certification requirements, stoves must have pollution control systems built into the device.

Can I sell my uncertified woodstove?

No. It is against the law to sell, offer to sell, or advertise any uncertified woodstove or fireplace insert. It is also against the law to install an uncertified woodstove in your home.

Devices Exempt From Removal Requirements

What wood heating devices are not required to be removed upon home sale?

These devices are not required to be certified, and do not need to be removed when a home is sold:

  • Antique stoves – Woodstoves built before 1940 that have an ornate construction and a current market value substantially higher than a common woodstove manufactured during the same period.


  • Central, wood fired furnaces – Indoor, ducted, thermostatically controlled devices with a dedicated cold air inlet and hot air outlet that connect to the heating ductwork for the entire house.


  • Cook stoves - An indoor wood-burning appliance designed for the primary purpose of cooking food.


  • Masonry fireplaces – There are two major types of wood-burning fireplaces, traditional masonry fireplaces that are typically built of brick or stone and are constructed on site by a mason; and "low mass" fireplaces that are engineered and pre-fabricated in a manufacturing facility prior to installation. Most fireplaces, whether masonry or low mass, are not used as a primary source of heat; their function is primarily for ambiance and secondary heating.


  • Masonry heaters – Site-built or site-assembled solid-fueled heating device, consisting of a firebox, a large masonry mass, and a maze of heat exchange channels. It stores heat from rapidly-burning fires within its masonry structure, and slowly releases the heat into the home throughout the day.


  • Pellet stoves – Similar in appearance to wood stoves; however, instead of wood, pellet stoves burn a renewable fuel made of ground, dried wood and other biomass wastes compressed into pellets. Unlike wood stoves and fireplaces, most pellet stoves need electricity to operate.

Destruction, Removal and Reporting Requirements

How do I remove and destroy my uncertified stove?

You can remove it yourself or hire someone who can remove and destroy the stove for you. If you choose to remove your uncertified device take it to your local metal scrap recycler or landfill to make sure it is properly disposed and destroyed. Just be sure that you get a receipt as it is your proof of the stove's destruction and part of your notification to DEQ.

How do I notify the DEQ that I have removed and destroyed my stove?

You can submit a removal notification form to DEQ online. The form can be filled out by you, a realtor, or whomever you've hired to remove the uncertified woodstove or fireplace insert. To access the notification forms, please see the main Heat Smart Program page by clicking here.

Do I also have to remove an uncertified stove from my garage or shop?

Yes. You must remove any uncertified woodstove or fireplace insert from all buildings on the property that is being sold.

Who is responsible for removing and destroying the stove?

The home seller is responsible for removing and destroying the uncertified stove by the close of sale. However, if both the seller and buyer agree that the buyer will accept responsibility, then the buyer has up to 30 days after the close of sale to meet the requirements.

Other Questions

What are the health concerns with woodstove smoke?

Wintertime residential wood burning is a significant source of air pollution, including fine particulates and air toxics. At times, heavy smoke from residential wood burning in a community can exceed federal air quality health standards for particulate matter. Particulate matter in woodstove smoke can be easily inhaled and reach the deepest part of our lungs; it is known to cause or contribute to respiratory disease, asthma attacks, heart problems, and premature death. Wood smoke also contains toxic organic compounds known to cause cancer.

If I want to install a new woodstove or fireplace insert, what do I need to do?

You must obtain a permit from your local building codes department. Oregon building codes require a permit and inspection for any woodstove installation. Call your local city or county building department for details.

Are there penalties if I don’t comply with the law?

Yes. Fines can start at $750 for noncompliance. In addition, your insurance company may invalidate your homeowner’s insurance or the mortgage company may delay the home sale if they discover an uncertified stove was not removed and reported to DEQ.

What can you tell me about EPA’s proposal to tighten standards on home wood heating products?

Visit the EPA website to read EPA’s proposal and get the latest information on proposed new standards for manufacturers designed to promote more efficient and less polluting residential wood heaters.

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For more information about Air Quality call 503-229-5359 or email.

 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 811 SW Sixth Ave., Portland, OR 97204-1390
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900  FAX: 503-229-6124

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a regulatory agency authorized to protect Oregon's environment by
the State of Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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