Regional District of Kootenay Boundary receives funding for wood stove exchange

Thanks to the province, RDKB residents will be able to stay warm without compromising air quality this winter.

Thanks to the provincial government, residents of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) will be able to stay warm without compromising air quality this winter.

The RDKB is receiving $10,500 from the Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program to encourage residents to replace their old wood stoves with cleaner burning models that will improve personal health and air quality, Environment Minister Terry Lake announced Sunday.

“Through our wood stove exchange program, we are committed to reducing the number of old, inefficient wood stoves in B.C. and replacing them with more cost-efficient, environmentally friendly models,” Lake said in a release. “By upgrading to a new stove and following the tips to burn smarter, British Columbians can ensure better air quality in their communities and a more positive effect on their own health.”

The RDKB is one of 14 communities/regional districts receiving over $192,000 in grant funding from the Ministry of Environment to support its woodstove exchange goals for 2013.

The 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 BC Lung Association to run the wood stove exchange program.

To date, the B.C. government has put over $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 overall air shed health.

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.

– Submitted by the Ministry of Environment

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