If you’re thinking of buying a new high-efficiency wood-burning heating appliance this year, you’ll want to make sure that it meets U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. That said, knowing what this means exactly and how to ensure you’re checking all the boxes can be a challenge.
Fortunately, the crew at TN Fireplace & Chimney, the Knoxville fireplace experts, are here to help our clients stay up to date on it all.
What Does High-Efficiency Mean?
High-efficiency wood heating appliances are designed differently than traditional open-hearth fireplaces or wood stoves. According to the EPA, this means using specific design features to boost efficiency, include
· Firebox insulation
· A large baffle (a heavy-duty metal component that sits at the top of your firebox) to produce a longer, hotter gas flow path
· Small holes above the fuel in the firebox to introduce pre-heated combustion air into the chamber
All in all, these features allow the wood in the firebox to burn hotter while producing less emissions and requiring less fuel than normal appliances.
What Are the Standards?
The EPA’s revisions to the “2015 New Source Performance Standards for New Residential Wood Heaters, New Hydronic Heaters and Forced-Air Furnaces” require that any adjustable-rate wood burning stove produce less than 2.5 grams of carbon per hour.
The standards are meant to benefit homeowners and the environment. According to estimates, boosting the efficiency of new wood-burning stoves will mean an overall 40,600-ton reduction in cancerous, unhealthy emissions annually in the United States — a 25% reduction from previous levels.
There is a drawback to the new standards that stove manufacturers are continuing to work at overcoming. The reduction in carbon means flue gas temperatures are lower than in traditional stoves.
This can result in drafting problems under certain circumstances as well as causing the stoves to produce less heat output than intended.
Need more information? If you live in the Greater Knoxville area, contact TN Fireplace & Chimney, the Knoxville fireplace expert, online or at (865) 922-2262 to talk about your options for high-efficiency wood-burning appliances. We’re glad to help you pick the model that will best meet your needs.