ENVIRONMENT

Last call for annual wood-burning stove and fireplace conversion program

Oct 24, 2023, 4:00 PM | Updated: Oct 25, 2023, 2:43 pm

wood-burning stove -- SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Department of Environmental Quality's annual Wood ...

Don Sakis checks the fire in his Riteway wood stove at his home on Jan. 23, 2018, in Palmer, Alaska. (Loren Holmes/Anchorage Daily News via AP)

(Loren Holmes/Anchorage Daily News via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s annual Wood Stove and Fireplace Conversion Program is taking applicants until Tuesday, Oct. 31, and it could be the last chance people have to take advantage of the program.

“We don’t have any indication right now that we would get a new grant,” said Joel Karmazyn, an Environmental Scientist with the Utah Division of Air Quality.

The program has been running for the past six years, giving people living in northern Utah a chance to switch out their old wood stoves or fireplaces for a more environmentally friendly and efficient electric or natural gas heating system.

Karmazyn said over the years, they’ve helped around 3,000 people through the program. It’s previously been offered to people in Utah and Cache Counties, but this year, it’s only offered to residents in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and Box Elder Counties.

Karmazyn said they need to see the most reduction in emitted air pollutants in those four counties to comply with federal standards. He said wood stoves and fireplaces in those counties contribute around 14% of emissions in the air during the winter.

How it works

People have to register for the program by the Oct. 31 deadline to have a chance at receiving state-funded assistance. Karmazyn said low-income families qualify for up to 95% coverage.

Along with reduced emissions in the air, Karmazyn said there are several benefits to switching, including:

  • Not having to chop wood
  • No more soot in the house.
  • More efficient than wood.

“Wood is very inefficient for the most part. The vast majority of the heat goes up the flue and you have to deal with all that particulate matter,” Karmazyn said, adding “Natural gas or propane combustion doesn’t have that solids in there. It’s at least 100% more efficient.”

Related: As the days start to get cooler, it’s time to winterize

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Last call for annual wood-burning stove and fireplace conversion program