Across North America, government officials and community leaders have discovered a cost-effective new clean air solution that reduces excess smoke from old, pre-1992 woodstoves and has a real impact on the lives of citizens by improving neighborhood air quality.
The issue is simple. Pre-1992 wood stoves have limited controls on smoke emissions. In contrast, today’s modern stoves cut emissions by over 70 percent. In areas where there is a concentration of these older stoves and where conditions are right, smoke from these dirty stoves can cause an air quality problem.
There is strong evidence that changeout programs significantly improve air quality in communities where use of woodstoves is widespread. EPA data demonstrates that replacing twenty old, conventional stoves with twenty EPA-certified stoves will prevent the emission of one ton of particulate matter into the environment each year – an example of the dramatic clean air improvements possible from woodstove changeouts.
For cities and states that must develop clean air plans to comply with strict new federal air quality standards, officials will find that a woodstove changeout program offers one of the most cost-effective solutions for achieving real and immediate air quality benefits. The EPA estimates that a changeout program costs $2,000 per ton of particulate matter reduced. Federal officials typically consider any clean air solution costing less than $10,000 per ton to be extremely cost-effective.
Communities that conduct woodstove changeout campaigns enjoy a wealth of benefits in addition to improved air quality. Media coverage and other outreach activities raise public awareness about the importance of reducing emissions from older woodstoves and the options available to help citizens replace their older appliances.
Consumers are able to experience the added benefit of today's more energy-efficient and cleaner-burning modern stoves which burn less fuel for more heat and ultimately saving families money. Cleaner air means fewer cases of asthma and other health problems caused by smoke particulates. Plus, new stoves are often safer and can reduce the threat of household fires.