Wood Heaters

Federal Requirements for Residential Wood Heaters

On February 3, 2015, EPA finalized standards to residential wood heaters while establishing brand new federal air standards for previously unregulated new wood heaters. 

What does the rule require?

The final rule sets particulate matter emission limits for newly manufactured pellet stoves, wood-fired hydronic heaters (i.e. outdoor and indoor wood-fired boilers), wood-burning forced-air furnaces, adjustable-rate woodstoves, and “single burn rate” stoves.

CLICK HERE to read about the new rule in detail.

Does the rule impact current heaters in use in homes today?

The final rule does not affect current heaters already in use in homes today. It also does not replace state or local requirements governing wood heater use. Instead, it ensures that consumers buying wood heaters anywhere in the United States in the future will be able to choose from cleaner-burning models.

How does the rule impact manufacturers?

The final rule requires that newly manufactured wood heaters meet new standards.   More stringent particulate matter emission limits will be phased in over a period of five years to begin 60 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register.  This will give manufacturers time to adapt their product lines to develop the best next-generation models to meet these new standards.

How does the rule impact small businesses?

More than 90% of the manufacturers of wood heaters qualify as small businesses.  Pennsylvania has the second highest total of residential wood heater manufacturers in the U.S. with a count of 36 businesses located in PA out of an industry total of 635.

Also, small businesses will sometimes purchase and use the same type of equipment that is normally designed for residential use in their place of business.  If this is the case and you are considering purchasing a wood-burning appliance, check with EPA’s Burn Wise site on choosing appliances or consult with EPA’s List of Certified Wood Stoves.

What are the new emission requirements?

EPA prepared fact sheets which summarize the requirements for the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for each type of wood heater:

What is required to meet EPA’s certification process for wood heaters?

In order to meet EPA’s certification process for wood heaters, manufacturers must:

  • Maintain a quality assurance program for production line wood heaters.
  • Attach a permanent label to each wood heater unit that meets the appropriate emission standard.
  • Attach a temporary label that lists:
    • The emission rate
    • The heating range of the wood heater
    • Overall efficiency