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UCAIR Isn’t Blowing Smoke with Its Wood Stove Exchange Program

By Bailey Toolson, Guest Blogger

 DEQ invites guest bloggers to share their thoughts on issues that impact our environment. We appreciate their insights and the opportunity to broaden the conversation with others in the community.

Governor Gary Herbert announces the UCAIR Wood Stove exchange program flanked by cleaner-burning gas-powered stoves
Governor Gary Herbert announces the UCAIR Wood Stove exchange program flanked by cleaner-burning gas-powered stoves

Our mission at UCAIR is to make it easier for individuals, businesses, and communities to make changes that improve our air. We know that every change, no matter how small, brings us one step closer to our goal of clean air in Utah. In the spirit of our mission, UCAIR, with generous support from Chevron, Andeavor, and the Eccles Foundation, is proud to announce the Show UCAIR Wood Stove Exchange. This incentive program is entirely voluntary and not linked to any rule or ordinance.

Wood smoke from residential burning is a significant contributor to the Wasatch Front’s winter-time inversions. Smoke from wood-burning fireplaces, stoves, and inserts contains a wide variety of pollutants, including fine particulate matter or PM2.5. Recent research by state scientists indicates that, on average, 16 percent of the particulate pollution in the Salt Lake Valley can be attributed to wood smoke. The percentage is even higher in Utah County, where 21 percent of particulate pollution can be attributed to wood smoke.

Through this program, UCAIR will be able to exchange 80 wood-burning stoves and inserts for cleaner gas-burning appliances. Exchanging a wood-burning appliance for a gas appliance provides a 95 percent reduction in emissions. The average life of a gas stove is 40 years, so over the lifetime of these 80 stoves, there will be a 150-ton emission reduction from the air we breathe!

UCAIR Executive Director Thom Carter
UCAIR Executive Director Thom Carter

UCAIR was honored to launch the Show UCAIR Wood Stove Exchange on November 1, 2017, with Governor Herbert and our sponsors, Andeavor and Chevron. Our staff was also joined by representatives from the program vendors, Maple Mountain Fireplace and Hearth & Home Distributors of Utah, who brought display stoves to the event.

Residents of Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, and eastern Tooele counties are eligible to participate in this exchange. If you’re interested, complete program rules and process are listed below.

Wood Stove Exchange Program Rules

  • The home must be located in a residential neighborhood
  • The home must be a primary residence (no summer homes or cabins)
  • Old stove must be operable and regularly used
  • Old stove must be a free-standing wood stove or wood-burning stove insert
  • Natural gas or propane service must already be in place
  • New appliance must be natural gas or propane (no EPA approved wood or pellet units)
  • Old stove or insert must be destroyed and proof provided
  • New appliance must be professionally installed
  • Installers must comply with all local, state and federal guidelines, laws and building codes

 Wood Stove Exchange Process

  • Homeowner submits downloaded application to UCAIR (mailed, emailed, faxed or in person) for approval. UCAIR completes initial inspection of home to verify old stove is operable and in use
  • UCAIR collects details on wood usage
  • UCAIR approves application and issues $1,000 voucher
  • Homeowner takes voucher to Maple Mountain Fireplaceor Hearth and Home of Utah
  • Homeowner selects from eligible gas or propane stoves or inserts (must have intermittent pilot ignition/electronic ignition)
  • Vendor secures funding for all but $1,000 of the cost of device and installation
  • Vendor installs device, complying with all local, state and federal guidelines, laws and building codes
  • Vendor delivers stove to destruction site and obtains proof of destruction
  • Vendor delivers proof of destruction to UCAIR
  • UCAIR pays vendor $1,000
We had an overwhelming response from the public since our announcement last week, and all our vouchers have been claimed. We encourage you to consider switching from a wood-burning to a gas-burning stove, voucher or not — it’s good for you and good for the environment.
Bailey Toolson

I have been the Program Manager at UCAIR for nearly 2 years. I previously managed the Air Assist Small Business Assistance program, and I am excited to get to work exchanging wood stoves. Prior to joining UCAIR, I worked for nearly four years with the Division of Air Quality. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking and camping, travel, and all things Italian.

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