WOOD BURNING IN CANADA
WOOD BURNING APPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS
Looking to purchase a new hearth appliance, but aren’t sure what the requirements are where you live pertaining to burning wood? Currently, there is no federal regulation in Canada to determine what products are acceptable for sale and use. However, many provinces and even some municipalities have their own requirements – either within their building code or within by-laws. As a homeowner, it’s important to understand what restrictions you need to abide by within your jurisdiction.
The table shown here summarizes the requirements for wood burning appliances across Canada as of 2019. It should be noted that within Canada the CAN/CSA B.415.1-10 test standard (Performance testing of solid-fuel-burning appliances) and the US EPA 2015 test method are considered equivalent. However, products in the US must be tested using the US EPA test method and meet 4.5g/hr PM emissions or less.
HPBA Canada highly recommends consulting your local specialty hearth retailer regarding municipal requirements and by-laws before making your purchase. They can advise you on the efficiency, emissions rating and give you a better understanding of the appliance you are looking to purchase.
Currently, there is not a complete list of certified appliances to the 4.5g/hr of particulate emissions (PM) requirement we see in the United States or in specific Canadian jurisdictions. However, the US EPA hosts a list of all appliances tested and verified to the 2015 EPA NSPS and recently a list of appliances verified to 2.5g/hr PM using the CSA B.415.1-10 test standard has been created for the City of Montreal. To visit either of these databases, use the links below.
CITY OF MONTREAL
Message from Association des professionnels du chauffage
Unfortunately, a lot of people still think that wood burning is forbidden or will be forbidden in Montreal… or in the province of Québec. Let’s set the record straight: it is possible, and only two cities forbid wood burning. The false ideas regarding wood burning were related to old, uncertified appliance. However, since 2007 only EPA or CSA certified fireplaces and stoves can be sold in the province of Quebec and since this provincial regulation does not specify an emission threshold, they are at 4.5 gr/h for the moment, automatically following exactly EPA recommendations. Not only do these appliances already reduce up to 90% of all particulate matters when compared to old, uncertified appliance, they also can also run at as much as 75% efficiency. That’s good news for air quality, comfort and personal finance!
Concerning the City of Montreal, comprising 19 districts, the By-law No. 15-069 called By-law Concerning Solid-Fuel-Burning Devices and Fireplace, it says, in summary:
During smog alerts, it is forbidden to use your solid-fuel burning device;
Starting October 1st, 2018, it will be forbidden to use your wood burning device, unless it is recognized by an organization identified in schedule B to this by-law, (EPA and CSA) as part of a certification process, establishing that it has an emission rate equal to or less than 2.5 g/hr of fine particles into the atmosphere.
Some people still wonder if their city is concerned. Here is the situation in the City of Montreal, and also in the cities around Montreal. We remind you that in the rest of the Province of Québec, since 2009, only CSA or EPA certified devices can be sold. For any questions, please contact your city about their rulings and by-laws.
Wood Burning By-Laws Per Region
VILLE DE MONTRÉAL
Existing appliances: Still acceptable in the home. However, starting October 1st, 2018, they are not permitted to be operated unless they are certified to EPA or CSA standands, emitting 2.5 gr/h or less fine particles (except in power outages lasting 3 or more hours). There is no obligation to shutdown your device.
New installations: Permitted to install EPA or CSA certified appliances emitting 2.5 gr/h or less fine particles.
OTHER CITIES AROUND MONTREAL (not comprised in the city of Montreal)
Allowed to use an existing woodburning device, but not to install a new one or to replace an old one. Excerpt of By-law BEAC-046 (63 KB) art. 3.2.5: Only installation or replacement of wood burning appliance with a gas-fueled appliance or pellet-fueled appliance are allowed in Beaconsfield.
Existing appliances: Permitted to use a wood burning device, but starting December 1st, 2018, it will be disallowed, unless an EPA certified appliance emitting 2.5 gr/h of fine particles is installed (except in power outages lasting 3 or more hours). No obligation to shutdown the device. New installations: Permitted to install a fireplace or stove if it is EPA certified and emitting 2.5 gr/h or less of fine particles.
By-law 1003 (adopted recently) now allows wood burning devices EPA or CSA certified emitting 2.5 gr/h or less of fine particles.
Vested right for existing appliance. New installations or replacement of existing units must be EPA or CSA certified, emitting 2.5 gr/h or less of fine particles.
Allowed (EPA or CSA appliances emitting 2.5 gr/h or less of fine particles).
Note: This is an INFORMATIVE document only. Please always refer to your city or municipality. Don’t forget to get your municipal license!