Wood Burning Appliances
Using wood for heat is popular in many areas of B.C., however it generates far more pollution than other heating alternatives, such as electricity or natural gas. Wood heating emits a number of pollutants including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).
Wood smoke from home heating contributes about 27 percent of PM2.5 emissions in B.C., however studies have shown that in some communities the wood smoke contribution to pollution is much higher. The following video describes some of the health impacts of wood smoke:
Using a modern, clean-burning, wood heating appliance and basic clean-burning practices can reduce but not eliminate smoke emissions from wood heating. Switching to heat sources such as natural gas or electricity eliminates most local emissions of pollutants. Burning pellets is another cleaner burning option. While pellets are a wood-derived fuel, modern pellet stoves burn cleanly with PM2.5 emissions 80-90 percent less than most appliances burning regular firewood.
The wood stove exchange program aims to assist B.C. residents in switching to cleaner burning heating options and to provide education on clean wood burning practices.
Use your wood burning appliance properly to reduce emissions: