Outdoor wood burners pose concerns: Sentinel News

September 8, 2009: Sentinel News

Outdoor wood burners pose concerns

By Andrea Ciccocioppo

Excerpt:

Outdoor wood-burning furnaces have become more common, especially in rural areas in the last few years. According to statistics from the state Department of Environmental Protection, in 2005 there were 12,000 of the burners across the state. Since heating fuel prices have increased, more residents are buying the burners as a way to save on costs.

DEP officials have not completed an official count since 2005 but estimate there are probably close to 20,000 of the units statewide today.

Hydronic heater emissions are cause for concern. Residential wood smoke contains fine particles, which can affect both the lungs and the heart.

“We have concerns about the amount of soot – or fine particulate matter – that comes from these burners, especially the older models,” said DEP Secretary John Hanger. “The older models in particular are a real threat to air quality.”

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