Shopping for a new wood stove, like Paul’s friend Babe? Remember that new stoves and outdoor boilers must be certified to new 2020 emission standards to be sold or installed in Minnesota.
Wood smoke is a significant source of fine-particles – a harmful pollutant. We can breathe fine particles into our lungs, and they can enter our bloodstream. Air pollution contributes to small annoyances such as coughing or itchy eyes. It can also cause or worsen many diseases involving the lungs and breathing, leading to hospitalizations, cancer, or even premature death.
With the EPA’s backing, Minnesota has been a leader in lowering fine-particle pollution by requiring manufacturers of wood-burning stoves and boilers to produce more efficient products.
As of May 2020 in Minnesota:
- Only wood-burning appliances that are 2020-certified by the manufacturer can be advertised, offered for sale, sold, or installed in Minnesota. Dealers selling models that aren’t certified are violating the law.
- All 2020-certified units must have an approved, permanent label that is visible when installed.
Some facts about wood burning in Minnesota:*
- Minnesotans burn about 1.45 million cords of wood in a year, enough to completely fill U.S. Bank Stadium.
- Nearly half of Minnesota households burn wood in either a heating appliance or recreational fires.
- There are an estimated 288,000 wood-burning units such as stoves, furnaces, and boilers in the state. About a third of them are pre-1989, which pollute much more than those certified to the 2020 standard.
- About 7 percent of households burn wood for primary heat; 46 percent of wood burned in Minnesota is for primary heat.
*From Minnesota residential wood combustion survey results (May 2019)