RDN receives wood stove exchange program funding

New wood stoves more efficient, burn cleaner to reduce particulate emissions.

The provincial government announced Monday that the Regional District of Nanaimo will receive $17,969 to continue its wood stove exchange program to encourage residents to replace old, inefficient wood stoves with new, cleaner burning models.

The Ministry of Environment is distributing $192,000 to 14 communities to support its wood stove exchange program for 2013, with the goal of replacing 700 old wood stoves with newer models across the province.

“By upgrading to a new stove and following the tips to burn smarter, British Columbians can ensure better air quality in their communities and a more positive effect on their own health,” said Environment Minister Terry Lake in a release.

There remain around 116,000 older model, inefficient wood stoves currently in use across the province that can affect the health of homeowners, their neighbours and communities.

Lake added as nights get longer and the weather gets colder more people will be using their wood stoves for heat.

Since 2008, the provincial government has partnered with the B.C. Lung Association to run the wood stove program. To date, the government has provided $1.8 million toward the program, which has replaced more than 5,000 wood stoves.

“Smoke created by wood stoves is associated with many respiratory problems that can seriously impact one’s health,” said Scott McDonald, CEO of the B.C. Lung Association. “We are pleased with the program’s continued success in helping to alleviate health concerns by replacing old stoves with cleaner, more efficient appliances.”

Tips to burn wood more efficiently include using well-seasoned wood that is cut into small pieces. Seasoned wood can provide as much as 15 per cent more heat while significantly reducing particulate emissions. By burning smaller, hotter fires, more combustion of wood is created. When burning wood properly, there should be little visible smoke coming from the chimney and no smell of smoke indoors. Wood-burning appliances should also be inspected and cleaned at least once a year.

For more on the RDN’s wood stove exchange program visit www.rdn.bc.ca.

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