B.C. Air Quality

Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program: Information for Individuals



How the Program Works

old wood stove doorsThe Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program is run on a community level. Local governments, nonprofit organizations and airshed/air quality management organizations in B.C. can apply for funding to implement an exchange program. By concentrating exchanges in communities that demonstrate a real need to improve air quality related to wood burning, the programs have an opportunity to demonstrate noticeable and measurable improvements.

If you are thinking about exchanging your old wood stove, check to see if you live in an area running a community-based exchange program and contact your local government office for more information.

Each area may run their program slightly differently. However, in general they may require a photo or some proof that the old stove has been in use, proof that the new stove has been installed (in compliance with current building codes), and proof that the old stove has been destroyed. Community coordinators can help you through this process.

Once these steps are complete, a rebate will be issued to you in the amount of $250 or more.* In addition to the rebates, the programs offer education and training on using your new appliance to maximize efficiency and reduce the amount of smoke produced. Contact the community coordinator in your area for workshop schedules and other opportunities. See Getting the Most Out of Your New Wood Stove for tips on increasing your stove’s efficiency.

* Some communities provide a top off to the provincial rebates. These range from $50 to $500.

Industry Discounts

In addition to the provincial rebates offered in certain communities, the Hearth Patio and BBQ Association of Western Canada contributes by offering a discount during March and April at participating dealers. Dealers in areas running the provincial exchange program are most likely to participate in the industry program. As with the community exchange program, the old stove must be removed and destroyed.

Other Incentive Programs

Additional incentives may be available, including an incentive for the purchase of a new Enerchoice Gas Fireplace.


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How to Choose a New Stove

smoke coming chimney in house with old wood stoveIn British Columbia, all new wood stoves and inserts sold must meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA) emission standards. All stoves come with a label that specifies the emissions output in grams per hour.

Choose a stove that will meet your heating needs and help maximize efficiency. Qualifying replacement products include EPA-certified wood stoves, inserts, and select certified wood furnaces, as well as any appliance that burns pellet fuel. Pellet stoves are some of the cleanest-burning heating appliances available today and deliver high overall efficiency.

To learn more about choosing a new stove, see:


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Getting the Most Out of Your New Wood Stove

Even though your new stove meets emission standards, maximizing the efficiency of its operation is up to you. Here are some general tips that will help you burn smart:

  • Burn only clean, well-seasoned firewood to reduce smoke and creosote buildup. Firewood that is cut to length, split and stacked in the spring will be ready for burning the following winter. Properly seasoned wood has just under 20% water by weight, is generally darker at the ends and weighs much less than freshly cut wood.
  • When kindling a new fire, fully open all air inlets of the stove to create a hot flame that will quickly bring the cold firebox, wood, and chimney up to temperature and reduce the length of a smoky startup.
  • Burn smaller, hotter fires in order to ensure complete combustion of the wood. There should be very little visible smoke coming from your chimney and no smell of smoke indoors.
  • Avoid slow, smouldering fires by ensuring that sufficient air is coming into the fire through the air inlets of the stove in order to maintain the flame. Do not damper down overnight!
  • Properly maintain your wood stove and chimney for efficiency and safe operation.

For more information on burning smart, see:


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Recycling Your Old Stove

The goal of the Provincial Wood Stove Exchange program is to reduce the amount of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) contained in wood smoke produced around homes and communities.

Each stove replaced can reduce smoke and PM2.5 by up to 90%. For this reason, old stoves must not be used again; they must be destroyed. Whether you or an installer are removing the old stove, take these steps to render it nonuseable:

  • Remove the doors.
  • Bash in the flue collar.
  • Remove the firebrick from the appliance.
  • Deliver the body to the designated public works yards and/or transfer station where it can be picked up by a recycler.

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