Alternatives to Help Reduce Health Risks from Burning Firewood

Wood burning creates an average of five tons of harmful PM2.5 emissions per day in the South Coast Air Basin. That is four times the amount of PM2.5 emitted from all the power plants in the area! And it is even worse in the winter when wood burning is at its peak. From November through February, pollution from wood burning has been estimated to cause more than 10 tons per day of PM2.5 emissions.

There are plenty of wood-burning alternatives and resources to help you switch to cleaner-burning gas log sets.

  • Reduce your need for fuel. Make your home more energy efficient by installing ceiling insulation, and by weather stripping or caulking windows and doors. Close off unused rooms if you don’t have central heating.

  • For heating, switch to a cleaner wood-burning alternative. An EPA-certified wood stove emits up to 70 percent fewer particulate emissions and uses 30 percent less fuel.

  • Replace your wood-burning fireplace with a natural gas unit. The particle pollution from one wood stove is equivalent to that emitted by 3,000 gas furnaces producing the same amount of heat per unit.

  • Watch South Coast AQMD’s video “Wood-Burning Alternatives for Your Fireplace” on gas and electric options on YouTube at:

  • Check out South Coast AQMD’s Wood Stove & Fireplace Change-Out Incentive Program. Vouchers through this program help reduce the cost to purchase and install cleaner hearth products such as stoves, inserts, gas logs and retrofits to residents, renters (with landlord approval), and landlords in the areas surrounding the cities of Riverside, San Bernardino and the community of Boyle Heights.

From switching to gas or electric fireplaces to using your wood-burning fireplace responsibly, by not burning on days when a No-Burn advisory is in effect, every small step toward cleaner air will help protect your respiratory health. 

For more information, visit our Wood Stove & Fireplace Change-Out Incentive Program webpage.

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