Wood burning appliances

Last updated on February 7, 2023

Using wood for heat is popular in many areas of B.C., but it generates more pollution than other heating alternatives, such as electricity or natural gas.

Wood heating emits many pollutants including:

  • Fine particulate matter (PM2.5)
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)

Wood smoke from home heating contributes about 27 percent of PM2.5 emissions in B.C.

Studies have shown that in some communities the wood smoke contribution to pollution is much higher.

To find out more about the health impacts of wood smoke, please view the Wood Smoke and Your Health video.

Reduce your emissions

Using a modern, emissions-certified 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.

Use your wood burning appliance properly to reduce emissions:

Community Wood Smoke Reduction Program

The Community Wood Smoke Reduction Program assists B.C. residents to switch to cleaner burning heating options.

The program also provides education on clean wood-burning practices.

Health effects of wood smoke

Further information on the health effects of wood smoke can be viewed at the following links: