Kelowna Capital News

Regional district advocating wood stove exchange program

The Regional District of Central Okanagan, in partnership with the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, has received a $22,000 grant from the Wood Stove Exchange Program.

This provincial initiative encourages residents to replace their old wood stoves with cleaner burning models that will improve personal health and air quality.

The two Okanagan regional districts are among the participating organizations from 14 communities/regional districts slated to receive more than  $192,000 in grant funding.

The 2013 exchange goal is to have close to 700 stoves exchanged across the province in the coming year.

Since 2008, the B.C. government has partnered with the B.C. Lung Association to run the wood stove exchange program.

To date, the provincial government has put more than $1.8 million towards the program which has resulted in over 5,000 old wood stoves successfully replaced.

There are approximately 116,000 older model stoves currently in use around the province that can affect the health of homeowners, their neighbours and their local air quality.

As the nights get longer and the weather gets colder, many British Columbians will be sparking up these wood-burning stoves for warmth; however, before doing so, it is important to remember some helpful tips to make burning more efficient while maintaining good air quality and personal health.

For example, always use dry well-seasoned wood that is cut into small pieces—seasoned wood can provide as much as 15 per cent more heat than the same amount of unseasoned wood.

It also significantly reduces air pollution. By burning smaller, hotter fires to ensure complete combustion of the wood, there should be very little visible smoke coming from the chimney and no smell of smoke indoors. It is also important to have any wood-burning appliances inspected and cleaned at least once a year by a certified technician.

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