With their rustic charm and utilitarian prowess, wood stoves have become increasingly popular among homesteaders and heavy-duty campers alike.
With this in mind, they also can have some drawbacks as well. For instance, wood stoves are known to produce a lot of debris, and even emissions which can worsen local air quality.
These drawbacks beg the question: are wood stoves going to be banned? Let’s discuss it!
Which Wood Stoves Are Going To Be Banned?
Hearing that wood stoves may be banned is a great concern for many homeowners.
Many people use only wood stoves to heat their homes, and with the price of home heating oil, switching from a wood stove to another heat source could be both difficult and pricey.
Wood stoves aren’t being banned in their entirety.
In 2013, the EPA banned the production and sale of about 80% of wood-burning stoves, meaning that manufacturers can no longer sell them. People can continue to use them in their homes, so don’t worry about replacing your stove.
However, if you want to buy a new stove to burn wood, you might have a much harder time than you would have in the past.
The 2013 EPA regulations limit stoves from fine airborne particulate emissions greater than 12 micrograms per cubic meter.
This means that many of the wood stoves people use in their homes may not be able to be purchased again in the future.
With that being said, you may want to your stove a check if you already own one. If it has a leak of some sort, it could be spewing ash or dust into the air!
This sweeping legislation has made great changes over the years, and determining exactly which standards your stove must meet is too difficult for the average person to understand without a ton of research.
Unless your state or municipality has different rules, you can continue to use your wood stove, in the future, you must buy from a selection of specific stove types.
Can You Still Use Wood Stoves Outside as a Fireplace?
Even though you can’t get in trouble for using a wood stove, people are still understandably concerned and confused about what is and isn’t allowed. For example, can you still use wood stoves outside as a fireplace?
Wood stoves can still be used in almost every condition that they have traditionally been able to be used for, including the following situations:
- You can burn wood outside for a campfire, assuming you have a burn permit.
- You can use an outdoor fireplace.
- You can burn any wood obtained legally.
For example, many people were concerned when this legislation was first introduced that there would be strict limits on campfires, but this isn’t the case.
In fact, you can still use galvanized fire rings for a campfire, can still have a bonfire at home with a permit, and can use an outdoor fireplace. This legislation focused on producers of wood stoves, not on users.
Unless your job is to buy and sell fireplaces, this legislation will not impact you in noticeable ways.
Reasons for Banning Wood Stoves
Wood stoves have been used for centuries as a way for people to heat their dwellings and as one of the only practical ways for home heating in remote places like Alaska. So you might wonder why exactly the government is trying to ban certain wood stoves.
This is a fair question with a rather simple answer: they want to promote cleaner air.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is tasked with keeping our environment safe and protecting the resources everyone shares on a regular basis.
If you’ve enjoyed clean air, water, or land, regulation by the EPA has been one of the main reasons why.
Now, the EPA wants to reduce the amount of pollution caused by wood stoves in order to increase air quality. People aren’t concerned that wood is not a renewable resource or that it’s contributing heavily to climate change.
Instead, people are concerned that the ash and smoke caused emitted from wood stoves can lead to health issues.
For example, using wood stoves can cause coughing, wheezing, and the onset of asthma. People who heat their homes with a wood stove are much more susceptible to breathing issues and overall decreased respiratory health.
For this reason, the EPA wants to limit the amount of pollution wood stoves give off to try and decrease the prevalence of these conditions.
Actions To Take With Your Wood Stove
If you’re still concerned that your wood stove will be banned and that you won’t be able to use it in the future, there are a few steps you can take to best familiarize yourself with the rules you need to follow.
- Reach out to your local town, county, and state governments for rules you need to follow as a homeowner who uses a wood stove.
- Contact a local inspector or wood stove installed and ask them to look at your stove. They can tell you if it needs to be replaced if it is up to environmental standards, and more.
- Research wood stoves if you need to replace yours. Find out if stoves are available that meet these standards and if they will fit in your home.
In the end, you may also want to take special precautions to reduce whatever dust your stove may already be making.
An alternative you might try using is electric fireplaces if all else fails. They work much like space heaters and give off a nice ambiance for your home.