Wood heating is practiced on a small scale, the fuel is usually harvested from a local resource, and the users gain a more complete understanding of their impacts on the environment than users of other energy sources. As environmentalists have suggested, these are some of the very features needed for economic and environmental sustainability. Families who heat their homes with wood responsibly should be recognized for their contribution to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a sustainable energy future.
Wood stoves are free-standing space heating appliances. Used either as the principal source of heat for a home or to supplement conventional heating systems, wood stoves are the most popular form of wood heating equipment because of their relatively low cost and installation flexibility. There are two general categories of wood stoves based on differences in combustion technology, emission characteristics and efficiency: conventional wood stoves and advanced technology, EPA certified wood stoves.
Wood cooking stoves have a cook-top surface, a bake oven and sometimes a reservoir for domestic hot water. Cook stoves are not common in Canada, although a few models are still available for sale in specialty stores. Cook stoves are exempt under the EPA wood burning regulations because the numbers were considered small and their manufacturers testified that practical cooking features and low emission combustion technology are incompatible. Smoke emissions performance for cooking ranges is not available, but particulate emissions are probably similar to conventional wood stoves.
Certified WETT inspectors will specifically inspect components of all wood-burning appliances and fireplaces to determine if they were installed safely and in accordance with building and fire code requirements. WETT inspectors are required to complete a minimum of four days of formal training and declare a minimum of 80 weeks of related field experience before being certified.
The best way to start your fire is with newspaper and dry kindling. Never try to get a blaze roaring with gasoline, kerosene or charcoal starter – you will get more firepower than you bargained for. Remember to remove ashes from your stove or fireplace regularly and store them in a covered metal container in a safe area away from the side of your house. The sparks in hot ashes can easily start fires. It is important to keep all household items – such as; drapes, furniture, newspaper and books – away from the heat and the stray sparks of your wood stove or fireplace.
Any fuel you choose to heat your home will affect the environment. When wood is not burned properly, it can have negative impacts on both outdoor and indoor air quality. Smoldering, smoky fires that produce a plume of blue-grey smoke from the chimney are the main cause of air pollution related to wood burning. You can reduce the amount of smoke from wood heating in many ways.
The Barrie Home Inspector is a WETT Certified Professional Home Inspector for the Barrie, Alliston and Orillia area of Simcoe County. The experience and knowledge from over 4,000 inspections allows us to guarantee the best possible WETT and Home Inspection. The Barrie Home Inspector is also a Certified Building Code Official with the Ontario Building Officials Association.