Genelle workshop on wood stoves to answer burning questions

Those looking to replace their old wood stoves with an efficient new one will have another crack at it March 6, 7 p.m. at the Genelle Hall

A new workshop is planned for the provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program in order to get the last seven rebate allotments accounted for in the regional district.

Those who are looking to replace their old wood stoves with an efficient new one will have another crack at it March 6, 7 p.m. at the Genelle Hall (1205 Second St).

The workshop hosted by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s electoral Area B is open to anyone from the surrounding communities who are interested in learning more about the program.

John Vere, Woodstove Exchange program coordinator, will be presenting at the two-hour workshop.

“These workshops are a result of the many questions I am asked when people inquire about the Woodstove Exchange program,” Vere said on his website (http://cactusmusic.ca/workshops.htm).

“They wonder if it’s worth it to upgrade their wood heat system or should they change to another source of heat: solar? heat pump? pellet?”

Within the Kootenay Boundary district, Fruitvale has exchanged seven woodstoves, Grand Forks 24, Midway six, Montrose two, Rossland 16 and Trail has exchanged seven. In Area A nine, Area B three, Area C 14, Area D 70, Area E 36.

There haven’t been any exchanges yet in Greenwood or Warfield.

However, there are still a significant amount of old smoky wood stoves in operation around the province and these units can affect the health of homeowners, their neighbours, and overall air shed health, said Vere.

Wood smoke is known to contain tiny particles called particulate matter (PM) — around 2.5 microns or less in diameter — small enough to be breathed into the deepest parts of the lungs.

Particulate matter is associated with all sorts of health problems, from a runny nose and coughing, to bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, heart disease and even premature death.

Simple changes to the way people burn wood in their stoves or fireplaces can help minimize smoke, said Vere, increasing the heat provided from wood burning, and limit people’s impacts on their neighbours.

Burning only clean, dry wood, creating small, bright fires by using small pieces of kindling to start the fire — keeping it moderately hot by adding larger pieces of split wood as required — and watching for signs of incomplete burning, such as visible smoke coming from the chimney or long, lazy flames in the firebox will minimize smoke.

In November of 2011, the RDKB received $11,560 from the provincial wood stove exchange program to offset the costs of people trading in their old, inefficient wood stoves for a high-efficiency model or other clean-burning appliances.

That meant an average rebate of $250 rebate from the regional district on the purchase of a new wood stove, insert, pellet stove or gas stove/fireplace.

The idea behind the program is to replace the old inefficient stoves with new high-efficiency wood stoves, proven to burn one third less wood, reduce emissions by up to 70 per cent and reduce the risk of chimney fires.

For further information and to pre-register for the workshop, contact John Vere at 1-866-992-9663.