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Frequently Asked Questions About Wood Stoves

Oregon law requires removal and destruction of uncertified wood stoves and fireplace inserts when a home is sold. If a stove or insert is certified to meet wood smoke emission standards, it can remain in the home. The 2009 Oregon Legislature passed this law to help protect people from unhealthy wood smoke pollution.

​Wintertime residential wood burning is a significant source of air pollution, including fine particulates and air toxics. At times, heavy smoke from residential wood burning in a community can exceed federal air quality health standards for particulate matter. Particulate matter in wood stove smoke can be easily inhaled and reach the deepest part of our lungs; it is known to cause or contribute to respiratory disease, asthma attacks, heart problems, and premature death. Wood smoke also contains toxic organic compounds known to cause cancer.

​Uncertified wood stoves burn about 70 percent dirtier than certified wood stoves and can contribute to health problems. They also burn far less efficiently and require more wood than newer, certified stoves. These older, polluting stoves may also have been installed improperly, posing potential fire hazard and safety concerns. Removing them from service will help Oregon's efforts to restore and reserve healthy air and can also help maintain home safety.

​You can tell if your device is certified by looking on the back for a certification sticker from either Oregon DEQ or the Environmental Protection Agency. This label indicates that it is certified to comply with particulate emissions standards. An U.S. Underwriters Laboratory/UL safety label is not a DEQ or EPA certification.

​No. Certification is completed by stove manufacturers when introducing a new model line. To meet certification requirements, stoves must have pollution control systems built into them and be tested by an independent third party at the time of manufacture to assure they meet emissions performance standards.

​The home seller is responsible for complying with the removal, destruction and disposal requirements unless both the seller and buyer agree in writing that the buyer will accept responsibility. In cases where the buyer takes responsibility, then they have 30 days after the close of sale to meet the requirements.

​​No. The Heat Smart program requires removal, destruction and disposal of an uncertified solid fuel burning device only when a home is sold. The certification requirements are not triggered when a home is refinanced, assuming no change in ownership occurs as a result of the refinance.

​​You can choose to remove and destroy the uncertified wood stove or insert yourself, or hire someone to do it for you. If you choose to remove it yourself, DEQ provides a list of potential places to dispose of uncertified devices on the Heat Smart Program web page.

​After an uncertified device has been removed, it must be destroyed and disposed of, and DEQ must be notified by the responsible party.

​An uncertified wood stove or fireplace insert is considered destroyed when it is demolished to the extent that it cannot be restored or reused as a heating device. DEQ recommends permanently removing the door and hinges, and cutting holes in the top and sides of the device at least four inches in diameter to destroy it. DEQ also recommends taking your uncertified wood stove or fireplace insert to a scrap metal dealer or recycler for disposal. Be sure to obtain a numbered receipt from the contractor or business that disposes of your stove and keep it for your records. You will need to reference the disposal receipt when notifying DEQ that an uncertified device has been decommissioned.

​To notify DEQ that an uncertified device has been decommissioned, the person who removed the device can submit an Uncertified Woodstove Removal Notification form to DEQ online by visiting the Heat Smart main page. When you or your contractor submits a removal notification form online, DEQ will immediately send a confirmation printout that is your proof of complying with removal and destruction requirements for uncertified devices. Please print and save a copy of the Uncertified Wood Stove Removal Notification Confirmation for your records, as you may need be asked to present it when closing the sale of your home.

​You must remove all uncertified devices from the property being sold, regardless of where they are located. This includes garages and workshops.

​​Yes. The following devices are exempt from the certification requirements and do not need to be removed from the home at the time of sale:
  • Antique stoves
    An antique woodstove is a woodstove built before 1940 that has an ornate construction and a current market value substantially higher than a common woodstove manufactured during the same period [OAR 340-262-0450(1)].
  • Central, wood-fired boilers
  • Cook stoves
  • Gas fireplaces and appliances
  • Masonry heaters and fireplaces
  • Pellet stoves
  • Saunas

​No. It is against the law to sell, offer to sell, or advertise to sell any uncertified solid fuel burning device in Oregon.

​​Yes. Fines start at $750 for noncompliance. In addition, your insurance company may invalidate your homeowner’s insurance or the mortgage company may delay the home sale if they discover an uncertified wood heating device was not removed, destroyed and reported to DEQ.

​You must obtain a permit from your local building codes department. Oregon Building Code requires all new wood stoves and fireplace inserts to be certified for emissions performance in order to be installed in Oregon. Contact your local city or county building department for details.