Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Burn Wise

Partners -
Test Methods

Burn Wise Logo

In order to qualify a hydronic heater or fireplace, program partners must follow detailed certification and qualification steps. Models must be tested by an accredited independent laboratory per the guidelines set forth in the respective partnership agreements. EPA has sole responsibility for qualifying models under the hydronic heater and fireplace programs.

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available as a free download, to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Acrobat Reader.

Hydronic Heater Test Method Information

In January 2007, EPA and manufacturers of hydronic heaters initiated Phase 1 of the EPA Outdoor Wood-fired Hydronic Heater Program to encourage the development of new, cleaner models. As of October 15, 2008, the Phase 1 Program has been terminated, and the Phase 2 Program has begun. The Phase 2 Program includes hydronic heaters that can burn biomass material other than wood (e.g. corn, pellets, etc.) It also includes hydronic heaters that are designed for indoor use, and hydronic heaters that are equipped with heat storage units. To qualify a hydronic heater under Phase 2, a model must achieve a particulate matter emission level of 0.32 lbs/million BTU.

Program partners must adhere to the test methods outlined in the partnership agreement. Because of uncertainties associated with the previous Test Method 28 OWHH, EPA, states, manufacturers, and laboratories spent several months revising this method and have made several improvements, including:

  1. Efficiency calculation uses calibrated flow meter and temperature thermopiles on the load side;
  2. Increased data readings from every 10 minutes to every minute;
  3. Increased moisture readings from three to five;
  4. Use CSA B415.1 stack loss method to check appropriateness of the overall efficiency calculation;
  5. Changed the HHV default to 8600 BTUS/LB or using ASTM E711, and LHV default to 7938BTU/LB.

The revised method is named: Test Method 28 WHH for Measurement of Particulate Emissions and Heating Efficiency of Wood-Fired Hydronic Heating Appliances. It reflects our decision to drop the "O", standing for Outdoor in the title. We dropped the word "Outdoor" so the method can also be used to test Indoor models.

For more detailed information on test method procedures and guidelines, download the Hydronic Heater Partnership Agreement (PDF) (50pp, 300k)

Fireplace Test Method Information

EPA’s Qualified Wood-burning Fireplace Program will initially qualify models achieving a Phase 1 particulate matter emission level of 7.3 g/kg or a Phase 2 particulate matter emission level of 5.1 g/kg. EPA will no longer qualify models at the Phase 1 level as of February 19, 2012.

To qualify a fireplace, program partners must adhere to the test methods outlined in the partnership agreement. Fireplaces will be tested using ASTM methods E2558 and E2515, and the test procedure in the test guidelines for determining “worst case” operating conditions.

For more detailed information on test method procedures and guidelines, download the Fireplace Partnership Agreement (PDF) (28pp, 435k)

 

Jump to main content.