Woodstove exchange program aims to help you breathe easier

Starting March 1, Wildsight is launching their Wood Stove Exchange program.

A new wood-burning stove side-by-side with an old.

A new wood-burning stove side-by-side with an old.

Starting March 1, Wildsight is launching their Wood Stove Exchange program, sponsored by the BC Lung Association, and the BC Ministry of Environment.

Program coordinator, Erna Jensen-Shill said there couldn’t be a better time to upgrade to a new wood stove.

“With provincial funding still available, and the retailers and manufacturers offering discounts during March and April, exchanging your old model in for a new wood burning appliance is as affordable as it will get,” Jensen-Shill said.

The cities of Cranbrook, Kimberley and the RDEK will waive the permit fees for installation of the new appliances, and there are a limited number of $250 rebates available on a first come, first served basis to those who would like to upgrade their old stoves to new EPA/CSA certified models.

The rebates are available within Cranbrook, Kimberley and RDEK Rural Areas C and E. Additionally, participating retailers will offer $150 off during the months of March and April.

“Given the opportunity, I would participate in the wood stove exchange program again in a heartbeat,” said past program supporter Wayne Pelter. “Over the years, I have exchanged the wood stove in my home in Kimberley and at my recreational cabin in the Rockies.”

Pelter said he took advantage of the program because of all of the incentives offered and he got a great result — a more efficient and cleaner burning wood stove.

“I have also had positive comments by my neighbours regarding the reduction in smoke in the neighbourhood,” said Pelter.

Jensen-Shill said the program’s goal is to improve air quality.

A new EPA/CSA certified stove has some great benefits: they are more energy efficient, they require less wood, produce about 90 per cent less particulate matter (smoke) which improves air quality in and around homes, and they are safer – certified wood stoves will greatly reduce creosote buildup which is the prime cause of chimney fires.

“Heating with wood makes good use of a renewable resource, but wood smoke signals an inefficient fire, wastes energy and contributes to poor air quality,” said Jensen-Shill.

“Wood smoke does have a negative effect on air quality, as evidenced by our Winter Air Quality Study completed in 2011 in the Cranbrook/Kimberley region.”

She said that Wildsight will be offering a Master Burner program to some participants, which will include access to wood heat expertise, along with tools and resources to increase your wood burning efficiency.

Trade in your old stove, burn cleanly, and you, and everyone else, will breathe easier!

For more information contact Erna Jensen-Shill: erna@wildsight.ca or 250-427-9360 or check out  www.wildsight.ca/kimcran/cleanair.