Why is it important to exchange my old Wood Stove?
Old wood burning appliances burn inefficiently, creating more pollution and creosote than new appliances. According to Bylaw 773 only wood burning appliances (included without limitation stoves, fireplaces inserts or wood boilers) that meet the emission standards CAN/CSA B415.1 or the EPA standards could be granted a permit to be installed within the Regional District of Central Okanagan.
BC and the EPA are currently revising their emissions standards for solid fuel appliances. The proposed standard will result in a lowering of the maximum permissible average emissions rate by 40% below current standards and will ensure that only the lowest emitting new appliances will be offered for sale in B.C.
The proposed BC emissions standard for Non-catalytic appliances is 4.5 grams/hour and for Catalytic appliances 2.5 grams/hour. The EPA is also considering a New Source Performance Standards for Residential Wood Heaters and could be found here. We encourage residents to buy appliances that comply with the proposed BC emissions standards.
There are several effective ways to reduce the amount of pollutants; natural gas and electricity are much cleaner ways to heat a home and insulating and weather stripping can cost less than a wood stove and reduce heating costs. If you are planning to install a new heating device, choose cleaner and more efficient heating (non-wood burning) devices.
But if you choose wood, the EPA-certified wood burning appliances heat more efficiently, using about 1/3 less wood and creating 90% less smoke. When used correctly, it is possible to burn without creating any visible smoke. The Wood Burning Best Practices pages provide great information and videos to assist you in burning cleaner.
Rebates now available!
The provincial Woodstove Exchange program and the rebates of $250 are now available; we have 51 rebates to be distributed within the Central Okanagan.
Rebates Remaining: 47 of 51 (updated April 26, 2016)
Since 2001, the Central Okanagan has been offering the Woodstove Exchange Program in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment in an effort to encourage citizens to exchange their old woodstove for an EPA certified woodstove (approved pellet, electric or gas hearth product) to prevent air pollution in the region. This effort has enabled that 1,858 residents within RDCO, RDNO and RDOS exchange their old, non-EPA certified woodstoves for new technology products; resulting in particulate matter reduction of up to 113 tonnes per year (based on BC Ministry of Environment reduction estimates).
The following point sources show the Wood appliances legally installed within the Central Okanagan; based on the year of installation an estimate of more than 100 woodstoves should be replaced only in Kelowna; available data is limited for others Districts. With the new Clean Air Strategy and future bylaws' review is expected all woodstoves in the region comply with CAN/CSA B415.1 or the EPA standards. Regional District in coordination with the industry and participant retailers will continue its efforts to promote Wood Stove Exchanges.
Click here to access the map (point sources)
Exchange your old Wood Stove, improve your health and get a $250 rebate!
- Visit your local participating retailer.
- Pick out an EPA-certified wood burning appliances ; EPA certified wood, pellet, electric or gas burning hearth product (freestanding or fireplace insert). There's year-round discounts that could apply to specific models and brands, but be sure the model you choose is EPA certified and comply with the CAN/CSA B415.1 standards! Since 1998, it's illegal to install a non-EPA wood burning appliance within the Central Okanagan.
- Recycle your old wood stove. Retailers can help you with the recycling paperwork or provide related information.
- Obtain a proper building permit for legal installation.
- Retailers will help you to fill out the appropriate RDCO Tracking form and they will send the paperwork to us.
- You'll receive the $250 cheque directly to your mailing address with a "Burn it Smart" DVD and a Guide to Residential Wood Heating.
Participating Retailers 2016
BEFORE you replace your old wood burning appliance, contact your insurance company to learn if you can save on home insurance (by qualifying as a secondary heat source) AND if your insurance company imposes any additional requirements (such as a WETT inspection).
For more information on the Great Okanagan Woodstove Change Out Program and how wood smoke impacts our environment, go to bcairquality.ca.
Burn wood responsibly
If you are burning responsibly within your wood burning appliance there should be little or no smoke coming out of the chimney, except during a 15 minute start up period and occasionally when you add more fuel to the fire.
It is illegal to burn anything other than untreated, seasoned (dry) wood.
Wood must be split, stacked, properly covered to allow air flow at least 8 months
and stored before burning. Print and follow the Wood Burning Best Practices
to dry firewood.
The moisture content of the wood should be 20% or less. Ask for the moisture content of the wood to your firewood vendor/distributor before you buy!
You can find moisture meters in local stores.
The Wood Burning Best Practices pages have videos with great advice on preparing wood and woodstove use.
Fireplace and Woodstove smoke complaints
Within the City of Kelowna, if you suspect that someone is burning other than permitted wood burning appliances fuels, and releasing constant smoke use our service request system to report a problem.
Bylaw Enforcement Office (7 days per week - 24 hours per day)
Tel: 250 469-8686 - follow the prompts Fax: 250 862-3340
If you live in other District or in WBFN, contact us.
Regional Air Quality Coordinator