Including Wood Stovein Energy AuditsThe challenges of assessing an age-old technologywith modern standards John Ackerly President, Alliance for Green Heat
Alliance for Green Heat501c3 nonprofit funded by foundations & grantsA national voice for wood heat consumersWork for more incentives for the cleanest & most efficient biomass heatersCall on government to provide R&D funding for ultra-clean “next generation” stovesWork for more regulation of wood stoves, including No new installs of unqualified outdoor boilers No new installs of uncertified stoves in urban areas
There are no standards to assessthe second most common heatingappliance in New EnglandBuilding Performance Institute,Inc.BPI-101Home Energy Auditing StandardAugust 3, 20103.3 Include a test of allcombustion appliances inaccordance with Section 7 ofthis standard.
What are the challenges? Most wood and pellet stoves do not report reliable ? efficiency numbers Wood and pellet stoves emit carbon monoxide, yet they are never tested for leaks and cannot be run if a blower door test is being done Pellet stoves and boilers are exempt from EPA regulation, so they cannot be checked for EPA certification 2.4 million US homes use stoves as their primary heat but many homeowners, insurance companies and even some states do not consider stoves primary heating devices. There is no EnergyStar program for wood or pellet stoves
Wood stoves in BPI standardsThe Home EnergyAuditing Standard(BPI-1100-T-2012): 7.8: Energy auditors shall Inspect solid fuel burning appliances for safe operation and efficiency. 7.23: Energy auditors shall recommend replacement of solid fuel burning appliances with UL-listed and EPA-certified appliances if the existing appliance is not UL-listed or has signs of structural failure.
BPI Standard Process BPI Standards Development Process Flow July 13, 2010 New Work ItemSolid Fuel Working Group Standards Management Board BoD Reaffirms Alliance for Green Heat – Chair EPA Standards Technical Committee National Fireplace Institute Working Group, Task Force Chimney Safety Institute of America Consensus Draft Washington State Dept. Ecology STC Approval Hearth, Patio BBQ Association - Ballot or Meeting Vote - Comment Resolution Standards Management Board BoD Reaffirms ANSI Public Review Process BPI Public Comment Public Comment Comment Resolution Comment Resolution ANSI BSR Approval Publish BPI Standard Publish ANSI/BPI Standard
Advising Homeowners on NewEquipmentHelping homeowners do a cost-benefit calculation for wood or pellet stoves orboilers (all numbers in HHV). The pellet efficiencies tend to be unrealistically high,as is Maine’s 85% estimate for biomass central heating systems. Department of Energy Home Fuel Cost Calculator: www.eia.gov/neic/experts/heatcalc.xls Default wood stove efficiency: 72% Default pellet stove efficiency: 78% State of Maine Home Heating Calculator www.maine.gov/energy/fuel_prices/heating-calculator.php Default wood stove efficiency: 63%, EPA certified; 54%, noncertified Default pellet stove efficiency: 80%, stove; 85%, central heating system BuildingGreen.com Heating Fuel Cost Calculator www.buildinggreen.com/calc/fuel_cost.cfm Default wood stove efficiencies: 80%, masonry; 70%, high efficiency EPA; 60%, wood stove; 50%, older wood stove Default pellet stove efficiency: 80%
What Consumers Need to Know: Pellet StovesMyth #1: Advertised efficiency numbers can be relied on. Advertised efficiency numbers are calculated in many different ways and are not reliable. They are almost always in LHV, even though EPA uses HHV. Make sure stove is over 70% HHV or 80% LHV using the B415 method.Myth #2: Pellet stoves tend to be more efficient than woodstoves. Many pellet stoves are fuel-guzzlers with low efficiency numbers. Expected savings may never materialize.Myth #3: Pellet stove are automatic Yes, but professional annual cleaning, and monthly homeowner cleaning, are vital to best operation and to maximize efficiency.
Efficiency of wood appliancesAs tested at High Heating Value (HHV)90%80%70%60%50% Best Known Default (EPA)40% Average30% Worst Known20%10%0% Pellet Catalytic Non-catalytic
Out of the top 24 pellet stovecompanies that retail in the U.S.The following is based on a review ofmanufacturer websites.7 listed stove efficiencies7 make general efficiency claims, i.e. “our stoves achieve up to 77% efficiency”10 do not mention any efficiency numbers8 provide emissions numbers in grams per hour16 do not list their emissions
What consumers need toknow: Wood StovesEfficiency: If efficiency is a real priority and the stove will be a primary heater, consider a catalytic stove. Catalytic stoves got a deserved bad rap in 80s and 90s but designs are far better today. Woodstock Soapstone, Blaze King and Travis make great catalytic stoves and report B415 efficiency numbers. They all make stoves that are over 80% HHV efficiency (90% LHV). Non-cats are 10 – 20% less efficient.Emissions: Key to low emissions is using dry, split wood, not the grams per hour as tested in the lab.Sizing is key: Make sure stove is sized to the space it can effectively heat.Professional installation: Find a pro certified by the National Fireplace Institute (NFI), http://nficertified.org.
What consumers need toknow: BoilersMyth #1: EPA Qualified outdoor wood boilers are high efficiency. Some are as low as 40- 50% efficient.Myth #2: EPA Qualified outdoor wood boilers are clean burning. Huge door opening leads to many people to use unsplit, large logs which are far from seasoned, and create plenty of smoke.Myth #3: Manufacturer and retailers help right-size boilers Unfortunately, many manufacturers and retailers have not done enough to help consumers get the right size equipment, leading to many installations that are oversized.
How to inspect a wood stove1. Physical inspection of stove EPA certification UL listing Structural integrity & rust Glass & gaskets2. Inspection of clearances.3. Inspection of evidence of smoke leakage4. Inspection of fuel and fuel storage.5. Inspection of visible creosote on chimneyWe are not recommending at this point an inspection while stove is in operation.
Why is this important?Power in Numbers20% of New England homes use wood heat (1.1 million homes)Half of New England rural homes use wood heat12% of urban New England homes use wood heatPotential for DangerWood stoves cause 4,000 house fires each yearOver one-quarter of residential building heating fires resultfrom improper maintenance of heatingequipment, specifically the failure to cleanthe equipment.
Wood is 3rd most common heat in U.S. US Residential Heating Fuel Use 70 60 50Millions of US Homes 40 Secondary 30 Primary 20 10 0 Electricity Natural Gas Wood Propane/LPG Fuel Oil Kerosene
EPA and UL certificationMake sure to checkBack of stove for EPA and UL label.If brand and model are on EPA certified list.Year purchased. Before 1988, not certified. After 1988, probably certified.For glass door. If it has one, it’s likely certified.Note: Pellet stoves do notrequire EPA certification.
Signs of structural failure Cracks and rust in the body Cracks in the door and glass
GlassDirty glass is a sign the stove owner is not operating stove correctly or the stove is inefficient.Recommend the homeowner clean the glass every day to see how quickly it gets dirty. If it gets dirty in a single day, the combustion is poor.Cracked glass should be replaced.
Clearances from combustiblesThese are very generalguidelines and do not reflect NFPA Recommendedlegal requirements. Clearances Inspect area for combustibles Radiant Stove within 12 inches of stove Stove Pipe (includes dry wall) Ceiling 36” 18” Old, uncertified stoves usually require 18 – 24 inches from Front 36” 18” combustible. 36” 18” Side EPA certified stove usually require no less than 12 Rear 36” 18” inches. Floor 18” 18” Minimum clearances are printed in the stove manual. If manual cannot be found, follow NFPA guidelines.
Inspecting gasketsMissing or degraded gaskets could lead to smoke and CO entering the house.If the gasket around the stove door is loose, missing or degraded, recommend owner gets a replacement.Gasket rope comes in different sizes, so tell the homeowner to consult owner’s manual before buying.
Smoke leakageCheck the interior of the home for signs of smoke leakage, especially the fireplace and mantle in the case of wood stove inserts.A leaky stove is a health and safety hazard and should be replaced.
ChimneysChimneys collect creosote (tar), the leading cause of chimney fires, and should be inspected once a year. BPI, TechnicalCheck for creosote by Standards for the looking up the Heating Professional chimney with a strong says: “A deteriorated flashlight. Creosote can chimney must be be visible on the grate repaired or relined and of the chimney cap as the cause corrected well. before reusing.”
Smoke & carbon dioxide monitorsCheck if home has an operational smoke detector and carbon monoxide monitor and test them.Smoke alarms should be on a ceiling or high on a wall. Carbon monoxide alarms should also be placed at least 5 feet high, but not directly above or beside wood stoves, since they may emit a small amount of CO upon start-up.
FirewoodInspect fuel storage to see if wood is split, stacked and covered. Splitting and stacking is essential; covering is best.Inspect wood to check if it is seasoned. Ideal is to test with moisture meter and show homeowner. Make sure you split wood and know how to use your meter.Seasoned wood is 20% or less moisture. Unseasoned wood leads to inefficient, smoky fires.
Installation & repair certificationNational Fireplace Institute (NFI) Non-profit certification agency that trains, tests and certifies hearth professionals, mostly focusing on installation of new units.Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) Focuses on chimneys but includes some hearth installation training.
When to designate a wood stove as a“Health and Safety hazard”?Made before 1988 and not certified by the EPA?No UL listing?Cracked firebox?Insufficient clearances?All of the above?Low income homes using an old stove as a primary or heating unit may be eligible for assistance to get a new, clean, high efficiency stove
The Wood Stove Checklist Written by Alliance for Green with support from the University of Maryland Extension as a tool for home energy auditors and others to help assess wood stove safety and efficiency Available through the Extension website: http://www.naturalresources. umd.edu/Publications/FactSh eets/FS- 936_2012_Wood_Stove_Chec klist.pdf Send any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you! John Ackerly email@example.com 301-841-7755