Since August 1, 2010, anyone selling a home with an old, uncertified woodstove is required to remove and destroy this device.
The 2009 Oregon Legislature signed Senate Bill 102 into law requiring the removal of any uncertified wood stove from a home when it is sold.
This law is part of a program to help protect Oregonians from uncontrolled wood smoke. Residential wood burning is a significant source of air pollution, including fine particulate and air toxics.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Heat Smart Program
What is Required?
As of August 1, 2010, Oregon law requires you to remove an uncertified woodstove or fireplace insert if you are selling your home.
For Home Sellers
What is the Heat Smart Program?
The 2009 Oregon Legislature passed a law requiring the removal of any uncertified wood stove from a home when it is sold. This law helps protect people from unnecessary wood smoke pollution.
Why are uncertified stoves a concern?
Uncertified woodstoves burn about 70 percent dirtier than certified woodstoves. They also burn far less efficiently and require more fuel than newer, certified stoves. These older, polluting stoves can remain in service for dozens of years. Removing them from service would help Oregon’s efforts to restore and preserve healthy air and save homeowners money.
What are the health concerns with woodstove smoke?
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 woodstove 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.
What do I need to do if I have a woodstove or fireplace insert?
First, you should check whether or not the woodstove or fireplace insert is certified. If the stove or insert is uncertified, it must be removed before the house is sold. If the stove or insert is certified there is no need to remove the stove.
How do I determine if my woodstove or fireplace insert is certified?
You can tell if your device is certified by looking on the back for a certification sticker from Oregon DEQ or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This label indicates it is certified to comply with particulate emission standards. A safety label (from U.L. or other safety listing agency) is not the same as DEQ or EPA certification. You can also check EPA’s list of certified woodstoves to see if your wood heating device is listed.
For Home Buyers
My stove does not have a label, can I get it certified?
No. Certification is only completed by stove manufacturers when introducing a new model line. To meet certification requirements, stoves must have pollution control systems built into the device.
What if I can’t access the back of my stove? What do I do if the label has worn off?
You can look up the model number of your stove on EPA’s certified woodstove list. You can also try to call the manufacturer of the stove to determine if it was certified.
How do I remove and destroy my uncertified stove?
You can remove it yourself or contact your local woodstove retailer or chimney sweep who may be able to remove and destroy the stove for you. If you choose to remove your uncertified device take it to your local metal scrap recycler or landfill to make sure it is properly disposed and destroyed. Just be sure that you get a receipt from the contractor or business that takes your stove. Your receipt is proof of the stove’s destruction and part of your notification to DEQ.
How do I notify the DEQ that I have removed and destroyed my stove?
Beginning August 1, 2010 you can submit a disclosure form to DEQ online. You will also have the option to mail the form in paper form to DEQ – Heat Smart Program, 811 SW Sixth Ave, Portland, OR 97204.
Do I also have to remove an uncertified stove from my garage or shop?
Yes. You must remove any uncertified woodstove or fireplace insert from all buildings on the property that is being sold.
Can I sell my uncertified woodstove?
No. It is against the law to sell, offer to sell, or advertise any uncertified woodstove or fireplace insert.
What do I do if the home buyer wants to remove the stove?
It’s up to you and the buyer to decide who will remove and destroy the stove. Once you decide, that information is part of the notice that can be submitted to DEQ.
What should I know about buying a home with an uncertified wood heating device?
If the homeowner/seller has an uncertified woodstove device in any building on the residential property being sold, he or she must remove and destroy it before the close of sale.
The seller must also give you, the buyer, the seller’s disclosure form indicating whether there is a wood burning device on the property.
It is the seller’s responsibility to remove the uncertified wood burning device unless you and the seller agree that you, the buyer, will be responsible for removing the stove. If so, you must remove and destroy the uncertified wood burning device within 30 days after the closing date of sale.
The buyer should also:
Get a receipt indicating you have destroyed the stove.
Submit the notification form to DEQ
What if I want to install a new woodstove or fireplace insert? What do I need to do?
You must obtain a permit from your local building codes department. Oregon building codes require a permit and inspection for any woodstove installation. Call your local city or county building department for details.
What wood heating devices are not required to be removed upon home sale?
These devices are not required to be removed when a home is sold:
Pellet stoves – Similar in appearance to wood stoves; however, instead of wood, pellet stoves burn a renewable fuel made of ground, dried wood and other biomass wastes compressed into pellets. Unlike wood stoves and fireplaces, most pellet stoves need electricity to operate.
Central, wood fired furnaces – Indoor, ducted, thermostatically controlled devices with a dedicated cold air inlet and hot air outlet that connect to the heating ductwork for the entire house.
Antique stoves – Woodstoves built before 1940 that have an ornate construction and a current market value substantially higher than a common woodstove manufactured during the same period.
Masonry fireplaces – There are two major types of wood-burning fireplaces, traditional masonry fireplaces that are typically built of brick or stone and are constructed on site by a mason; and “low mass” fireplaces that are engineered and pre-fabricated in a manufacturing facility prior to installation. Most fireplaces, whether masonry or low mass, are not used as a primary source of heat; their function is primarily for ambiance and secondary heating.
Masonry heaters – Site-built or site-assembled solid-fueled heating device, consisting of a firebox, a large masonry mass, and a maze of heat exchange channels. It stores heat from rapidly-burning fires within its masonry structure, and slowly releases the heat into the home throughout the day.
What if I live in an area that currently requires removal of an uncertified woodstove?
The statewide DEQ program will supersede any local stove removal requirements currently in effect.
EPA certification sticker
If your wood stove has either of the these labels attached to the back it is certified. EPA certification label circa 1988 to present. Oregon DEQ Woodstove certification label circa 1984-1988.
By Kelly Yock – Owner, Principal Broker, Premiere Property Group