Wood Stoves

Wood Heating

Wood Heating - Barrie Wett InspectionsWood 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.

Flue Pipes

Flue Pipes for Wood Stove Installation and Inspection in Barrie, Alliston or OrilliaFlue pipes carry the exhaust gases from the appliance flue collar to the base of the chimney. They have been referred to as the “weak link” in the wood-burning system because they are too often installed improperly. As you will see from the list below, there is a number of rules for the safe installation of flue pipe assemblies. These rules apply to flue pipes connected to all wood-burning appliances, including central heating systems.

Flue pipe assemblies should be as short and direct as possible between the appliance and the entrance to the chimney in order to maintain chimney draft. The ideal assembly is one that rises straight up from the appliance flue collar and directly into the chimney with no elbows. A straight flue pipe assembly offers the least restriction to gas flow and results in stronger draft. Straight assemblies also need less maintenance because there are no corners for creosote deposits to accumulate.
Flue pipes may be metallic or wooden. Metal pipes are usually circular in cross section; wooden pipes, square or rectangular, though triangular and round wooden pipes do exist. Read More

Space Heating

Space Heating and WETT Inspections

Space heating involves a self-contained device for heating an enclosed area. Space heating is generally employed to warm a small space, and is usually held in contrast Wett Inspections - Newer Wood Stovewith central heating, which warms many connected spaces at once. The inspection includes ensuring manufactures installation instructions are followed and wood burning units are installed in accordance with their listing requirements. The verification of installation is done by a Certified Inspector. Space heaters which do not have a ULC or other agency’s Certification Data Tag will have to have 48 inches of clearance from combustibles. This is an important part of the Inspection and home owners can easily verify for themselves whether of not their space heater is Certified prior to paying for an inspection.

Newer style space heaters are more efficient than previous models with some have catalytic inserts that burns with a higher efficiency.  The catalyst needs to be replaced every 5 years or so.  Even though catalytic stoves are recommended for home owners who are replacing a major part of their homes heating there are non-catalytic stoves which have a secondary combustion chamber which helps reduce emissions.  New stoves can produce 90 % less particulate and smoke emissions.

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