Monday, October 5, 2009

EPA Wood-burning Fireplace Program Progress

So far, three months after the EPA included masonry fireplaces in the renamed "Wood-burning Fireplace Program", only one fireplace (a metal one) has been tested for emissions to ASTM E2558 and approved by the EPA. Even that fireplace has not been accepted by any state or local air quality management district.

A spokesman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) in California told me that the BAAQMD was waiting until the EPA finished some modeling study which might change the Phase II passing grade of 5.1 g/kg. He had no answer to my question, "Why don't you approve them as a Phase I fireplace?"

We wonder what the EPA is doing to work with these state and local air quality management districts to help them revise their "rules" to recognize the EPA Voluntary Wood-burning Fireplace Program.

We wonder why the fireplace industry is not flocking to the test labs, getting their fireplaces approved by the EPA and applying to the BAAQMD and other air quality management districts.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How Rumfords Work

For more on the physics with some test data to back up these claims, read the JLC article about Rumfords.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rumford fireplaces are tall and shallow to reflect more heat,
and they have streamlined throats to eliminate turbulence and
carry away the smoke with little loss of heated room air.
Rumford fireplaces are generally appreciated for their tall
classic elegance and their heating efficiency.

Much more about Rumford fireplaces is on line at

Here, with this Blog, however, we hope to encourage a
dialog about some of the persistent issues presented by
emerging regulations about wood smoke emissions and

We can also, of course, discuss more down to earth topics
like how to fix a smoking fireplace or why use refractory
mortar. I will suggest topics from time to time but feel free
to discuss what's on your mind - about fireplaces and masonry
chimneys, of course. Well maybe masonry ovens and other
related topics too.

Here are some suggestions:

1) Can open fireplaces be "green"?
2) Are glass doors and combustion air good ideas?
3) How does a Rumford compare with a masonry heater or
a metal stove?

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