Woodstoves and Air Quality
For hundreds of years, home wood heating technology changed very little. Then in the 1980s, severe air pollution problems across the country were linked to smoke from woodstoves. Soon, woodstove manufacturers were required to design cleaner stoves.
New woodstove designs focus on achieving higher-efficiency combustion, more complete burning of combustion waste gases, and better heating efficiency. Two different designs—catalytic and noncatalytic stoves—meet woodstove pollution standards.
- Catalytic stoves use a ceramic catalyst inside the firebox to assist with the burning of waste gases (smoke).
- Noncatalytic stoves use a combination of sophisticated baffles and air supply designs to burn the gases.
In general, catalytic stoves are a little more efficient initially than noncatalytic stoves, but catalysts deteriorate over time and need to be replaced every 2 to 4 years to ensure good performance.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires manufacturers of woodstoves to produce clean-burning woodstoves. New woodstoves (those built after July 1, 1988) cannot produce smoke-related pollutants beyond certain limits. Learn more.
Woodstove Replacements and Tax Deductions
Idaho offers taxpayers who buy new woodstoves, pellet stoves, or natural gas or propane heating units for their residences a tax deduction to replace old, uncertified woodstoves. Learn more.
Woodstove operators can dramatically improve a stove's performance by learning to use the stove properly and burning correct fuels. Learn more.