EPA Regulations and AHS Wood Burning Appliances
"2015 will see big impacts of the EPA Phase 2 program requirements on the wood boiler industry. This article addresses the specifics."
January 1, 2017 Edit: All boilers and furnaces with listed fuels that include biomass and/or wood require EPA Phase 2 Qualification.
Alternate Heating Systems has prepared this release on the effects of new EPA regulations on wood fired heating systems manufactured by Alternate Heating Systems. The EPA has identified particulate matter emitted from wood burning appliances in the U.S. as contributing about 12% of the soot present in the atmosphere. A set of standards has been created for testing and evaluating wood burning appliances. In keeping with these standards, current regulations require that all new wood stoves and wood fired furnaces and boilers produced after May 15, 2015 must be EPA Phase 2 qualified. No non-qualified units are to be sold after December 31, 2015. Only approved third party testing agencies can supply the testing services, and these service providers are subject to close scrutiny regarding procedures and results.
Alternate Heating Systems has historically produced two boiler lines labeled for use with wood. These include the Multi-Fuel wood and coal combination, and the Wood GunTM wood gasification boiler. As a conventional, up-draft style of boiler, the Multi-Fuel has never been regarded as a high efficiency, low emissions wood boiler. No plans are in place to continue to label the Multi-Fuel boiler as dual solid fuel capable, nor to conduct a research and development program to produce future models that would be in compliance. This year, Multi-Fuel boilers produced after May 15 will not be labeled for use with wood. Wood will continue be the fuel of choice for starting fires, but consistent use of wood for other than start-up purposes will not be legal for new units. Dual labeled units will not be available for sale after December 31, 2015.
The Wood Gun has a long history of providing highly efficient wood sourced hydronic heating. Proper operation of the Wood Gun results in very low emissions and little to no visible smoke. Nevertheless, in order to match the requirements of the EPA Phase 2 program, some modifications to the Wood Gun were necessary to adapt it to the EPA test conditions. Phase 2 requirements were developed around the outdoor wood boiler paradigm. A side effect of this is the disadvantaging of indoor boilers with thin insulating jackets. Heat lost to the boiler room from the boiler shell is disregarded from the formula used to calculate net output and efficiency. Wood Guns built to qualify for the EPA Phase 2 program will carry new model numbers and have a number of modifications, including more insulation and additional hardware to provide more uniform results on very dry fuel. These modifications will result in higher pricing for Phase 2 qualified models with the same output. Only Phase 2 qualified units will be built after May 15, 2015. Only Phase 2 qualified units will be sold after December 31, 2015
With these changes in mind, you will want to plan your purchase to match your objectives. If you prefer to buy a Wood Gun that is unencumbered by components used to improve emissions, you may wish to make a deposit toward a purchase soon. If you prefer to have the Phase 2 enhanced Wood Gun, you have the option of waiting. Monitor www.alternateheatingsystems.com for new and updated information on model numbers and availability.