Wood Stoves and Fireplaces

Woodsmoke Reduction Program

SWCAA is offering grants of $400 to $6000 to help remove or replace old wood stoves, or to retrofit masonry fireplaces, within the agency’s jurisdiction. SWCAA will pay $400 to homeowners in the area who remove old wood stoves for the purpose of permanently removing them from service. Additionally, if you use an old wood stove for heating purposes and replace it with a device/system that uses a cleaner fuel, SWCAA will provide up to $6000 in grant money to help you do it. Have a masonry fireplace in your home and use it to burn wood for heat? SWCAA will provide up to $3000 to help you “retrofit” the fireplace with an insert that uses a cleaner fuel. Click HERE to learn more.

Woodsmoke Emissions

In many areas of Washington, wintertime wood burning is the single largest source of fine particle pollution (PM10 and PM2.5). That's right, woodsmoke exceeds pollution from vehicles and industry. With better burning practices and the use of reasonable alternatives we can improve our air quality.

When wood isn't burned completely, the smoke it produces contains carbon monoxide and toxic air pollutants. This includes benzene, formaldehyde, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and acrolein. With proper maintenance and good burning techniques smoke emissions should remain under 10% opacity. Learn more about better burning.

Wood stoves and fireplaces will smoke on start up and when stoking. There is a problem if the chimney is constantly smoking. Only burn dry seasoned firewood under 20% moisture content. Don't guess, invest in a moisture meter and test.

Tip: Leave the bark out of the fire. Bark is naturally fire retardant and when burned creates thick smoke and excess creosote. If the wood is split and seasoned correctly the bark should fall off naturally.

Burn Seasoned Firewood Only

The burning of any processed wood materials is illegal and poisons our air, soil and water. This includes lumber, mill ends, pallets, plywood or any other potential construction materials. Spare our air and burn seasoned firewood only.

Selling Wood Burning Devices

A person must not advertise to sell, offer to sell, bargain, exchange, or give away a solid fuel burning device (wood stove or manufactured fireplace) in Washington unless it is certified.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

If you utilize any gas appliances, or a wood burning device, it is important to have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a poisonous gas that cannot be seen or smelled and can kill a person in minutes. Carbon monoxide can quickly build up to unsafe levels in enclosed or semi-enclosed areas. Learn more about the effects of CO from the Washington State Department of Health.


Wood Stove Mechanical Permit Links
Permits are required for the installation of all solid fuel burning appliances. No used solid fuel burning device shall be installed in new or existing buildings unless such device is certified to meet the State of Washington Emissions Standards.
External Links