EPA Providing Tips for Healthier Heating Season

BARNSTABLE – Many people seek to avoid high heating costs by turning to wood as fuel during the winter, and the Environmental Protection Agency New England regional office is sharing tips to help people with a healthier heating season.

Older or inefficient wood heaters emit greater amounts of fine particles and other pollutants, said EPA officials, including carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, black carbon, and air toxics like benzene.

“Now that winter is upon us, if your family is purchasing a new wood-burning heater, be sure to choose an efficient EPA-certified unit,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator David Cash.

“Modern EPA-certified wood-burning appliances burn cleaner and produce less smoke inside and outside your home, meaning your family and neighbors have cleaner air to breathe. Further, efficient wood-burning appliances burn less wood, saving you both time and money,” Cash said.

EPA officials say that if you smell smoke in your home or consistently see smoke coming out of your chimney, that’s an indication that the heater is emitting harmful air pollutants.

Exposure to fine particle pollution has been linked to asthma attacks, acute bronchitis, irregular heartbeat, heart attacks, and premature death officials say.

Indoor fine-particle pollution levels can affect both your lungs and heart which may cause breathing problems and exacerbate pre-existing lung conditions.

The EPA recommends residents insulate homes with caulking around windows, doors, and pipes to reduce bills.

They also advise upgrading to a cleaner technology, such as heat pumps, and to store and season firewood properly as wood burns hotter and cleaner when dry and seasoned.

For more information and to see all of the EPA’s tips visit their website.

About Zachary Clapp

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