Every year in April, we are encouraged to consider our impact on the environment around Earth Day on April 22nd. With continued innovation in the energy sector and government regulation being put in place in the fight against climate change, Canadians are becoming more aware of the effect we have on the environment and ways we can help to reduce emissions and improve air quality.
Wood is Good
Choosing to burn locally-sourced, seasoned wood as a source of heat in an efficient appliance can be a great way to both reduce your dependence on the power grid and to reduce your home’s emissions. The Canadian hearth industry has continued to develop innovative products that substantially reduce particulate matter emissions, which contribute to air quality concerns. Advanced technology, certified wood stoves can use as little as 1/3 of the wood required to generate the same amount of heat as an old uncertified stove, saving homeowners both fuel and money. If you’re interested in learning more about smart wood burning practices, visit the EPA’s Burn Wise website for all the information you need!
The Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association of Canada promotes wood stove changeout programs across Canada. These programs help retire old, uncertified stoves and replace them with cleanerburning, more efficient EPA/CSA-certified stoves by offering incentives. Wood stove changeouts are hugely beneficial, especially when replacing stoves made prior to 1992, when wood stoves had limited control on smoke emissions. By changing out an old unit for a new certified stove and using good wood burning practices, homeowners can reduce particulate emissions by over 90%.
Heating with Gas
Using natural gas as a fuel source can be a cozy and convenient option for space heating. Natural gas freestanding stoves, inserts and fireplaces are easy to use and there are units designed to be excellent supplementary heaters within a home. Zone heating can reduce your fuel consumption which saves money on your heating bill and reduces your carbon footprint. A central furnace cycles on and off several times an hour and heats your entire house – even unoccupied rooms – wasting money and energy. Turn on your supplemental gas hearth appliance and turn down the thermostat for the central furnace and save. Studies how that zone heating solutions can provide energy savings of 20-40%.
An important part of owning a hearth appliance and ensuring you are operating it to best serve the environment is maintenance. Seasonal inspection and cleaning is crucial to ensure clean operation and safety. No matter what fuel source you are using, having your unit serviced and cleaned at least once a year will reduce its emissions and give you peace of mind knowing you are being environmentally responsible and safe.
Within Canada there are currently several jurisdictions with rebate incentive programs for hearth products. Always stay tuned to HPBAC alerts and news of new programs at that could benefit you!