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Changeout Guide

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Great American Wood Stove Changeout

logo for the Great American Wood Stove Changeout Program

Just 20 old non-EPA-certified wood stoves can emit more than 1 ton of fine particles into your area during the cold months of the year. -EPA

How a Changeout Campaign Works

During a changeout campaign, consumers receive financial incentives (rebates) to replace older appliances with either non-wood-burning equipment (for example, vented gas stoves), pellet stoves, or EPA certified wood stoves. Approximately 10 million wood stoves are currently in use in the United States, and 70 to 80 percent of them are older, inefficient, conventional stoves that pollute. Because EPA certified wood stoves emit approximately 70 percent less pollution than older, conventional wood stoves, a successful changeout campaign will reduce local particulate emissions. In addition, it is estimated that there are 500,000 hydronic heaters (outdoor wood boilers) in the US. Those units that meet EPA's Hydronic Heater Voluntary Program emit 70-90 percent less pollution than units that are not EPA qualified.

The costs of many local changeout programs, including advertising, are covered by a partnership of government agencies, gas utilities, and manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. In some areas the rebates to consumers amount to 10 percent to 15 percent of the purchase price of the new appliance. Several areas have implemented wood stove changeout programs and many are exploring the feasibility of hydronic heater and fireplace changeouts.

We have developed this guide for you to use to determine whether it is feasible for your jurisdiction to develop and implement a Wood Stove Changeout Campaign. This material will provide you with the following information:

What is a Wood Stove Changeout Campaign?

How do I know if my area is a candidate for a Wood Stove Changeout Campaign?

What is the process for developing and implementing a Wood Stove Changeout Campaign?

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the Adobe PDF files on this page. See EPA's PDF page for more information about getting and using the free Acrobat Reader.

Changeout Information

Arizona Changeout - Residents of Apache and Navajo counties can receive a rebate for trading out their existing coal stove or non-EPA certified wood stove. More information. Exit EPA disclaimer

Algaaciq Tribal Government- The Native Village of St. Mary's Algaaciq Tribal Government received a Community Environmental Demonstration Project grant to replace old non-compliant wood-stoves with EPA-certified stoves in 12 homes. More information Exit EPA disclaimer

Dane County, WI- Dane County Clean Air Coalition launches a Burn Wise Education and Wood Stove Changeout Program More informationExit EPA disclaimer

Faribanks, AK- The Air Quality Improvement Program is offering reimbursement incentives for removing , replacing or repairing home heating devices. More information Exit EPA disclaimer

Pittsfield, MA- Interprint Inc.has agreed with federal authorities to pay $80,000 in penalties as well as contribute $305,000 to replace old, high-pollution wood stoves with cleaner substitutes. More information

Exit EPA disclaimer

Wood Stove Changeout Programs Exit EPA disclaimer - A comprehensive list of changeouts that are happening around the country.

What is a Wood Stove Changeout Campaign?

  • A Wood Stove Changeout Campaign is a mechanism you can use to reduce the amount of air pollution from wood smoke in your area.
  • This voluntary program can be an effective way to reduce emissions of particulates and air toxics.
  • A Wood Stove Changeout Campaign provides information and incentives (e.g., rebates or discounts) to encourage people to replace their old, conventional wood stove with an EPA-certified wood-burning appliance that burns more cleanly and efficiently, including pellet, gas, and propane appliances.
  • We are also available to answer questions and provide support. Notify us when you decide that your area will plan and implement a Wood Stove Changeout Campaign.

How do I Know if my Area is a Candidate for a Wood Stove Changeout Campaign?

By implementing a Wood Stove Changeout Campaign, you can improve air quality within your area, reduce the amount of sickness associated with residential wood smoke, and improve visibility. Check out information related to the emissions reductions from EPA-certified wood stoves (PDF) (3pp, 113k). Also, EPA's AIRNow Web site provides the public with easy access to national air quality information.

Criteria that may make your area a candidate for a Wood Stove Changeout Campaign (PDF) (2pp, 61k) include:

  • Your area has high amounts of air pollution, especially particle pollution, of which PM2.5 is a part. EPA uses the Air Quality Index (AQI) as an indicator of the amount of air pollution present in the atmosphere. Also, EPA's AIRNow Web site provides the public with easy access to national air quality information.
  • Your area has been designated as nonattainment for PM2.5. Learn more information on PM 2.5 nonattainment areas.
  • Your community is located within a geography and topography that makes it susceptible to high levels of PM2.5 (e.g., a community in a "bowl" can get "smoked in" during the winter).
  • There is a significant number of wood-burning appliances (e.g., wood stoves and fireplaces) used in your area. Consider the various types of burning that occur in your community and whether people burn for heating or aesthetic purposes. EPA has developed a fact sheet (PDF) (2pp, 160k) that identifies sources of information for estimating the number of wood-burning appliances.
  • Your community has a high concentration of minority and/or low-income populations that could realize health benefits from a changeout campaign. EPA has developed the Environmental Justice Geographic Assessment Tool that allows you to quickly determine whether your jurisdiction may have high minority or low-income populations.

Read more about area Case Studies.

If you are interested in finding out how to obtain support for organizing a local changeout program, contact Larry Brockman by e-mailing brockman.larry@epa.gov or calling 919-541-5398.

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