CHARLOTTE, NC | October 2, 2018
As temperatures get cooler, many homeowners are starting the first fires of the home heating season. The American Lung Association urges residents of Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Mecklenburg, and Swain counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to take part in the North Carolina Woodstove Changeout Program. The program works to improve indoor and outdoor air quality by removing old, high polluting, low efficiency wood stoves and qualified fireplaces by replacing them with cleaner burning, more efficient EPA-certified woodstoves and hydronic heaters or heat pumps.
According to EPA estimates, woodstoves, hydronic heaters, and fireplaces emit more than 345,000 tons of PM2.5 into the air throughout the country each year – mostly during the winter months. During the winter, residential wood smoke is a main contributor to fine particle pollution and is responsible for poor air quality days in many areas.
The 2018 “State of the Air” report issued by the American Lung Association found that North Carolina earned mixed grades for the nation’s most widespread air pollutants. Mecklenburg County earned an A for having zero high particle pollution days during 2014-16. However, Jackson County received a C for five high particle pollution days and Swain County was issued a F for 12 high particle pollution days.
“Particle pollution is made of soot or tiny particles that come from coal-fired power plants, diesel engines, wildfires and wood-burning devices,” said June Deen, Senior Director for Advocacy in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. “Breathing these pollutants can cause asthma attacks, respiratory and cardiovascular harm. These particles are so small that they can lodge deep in the lungs and trigger asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes. They can even cause lung cancer, and early death.”
Particle pollution can affect everyone, but children, older adults, people with lung disease - including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or people with heart disease are most vulnerable.
The wood stove changeout program aims to lower particle pollution emissions in the area and supports local retail stove businesses who are working with the American Lung Association. Participating retailers are:
- Fireside Hearth and Home Shop (54 Canterbury Rd, Murphy, NC 28906)
- Hearth and Patio (4332 Monroe Rd, Charlotte, NC 28205)
- Mountain Air Mechanical Contractors Inc. (27 Loop Rd. Arden, NC 28704)
- Alberts Clean Sweep, Inc (1547 S Main Street, Waynesville, NC 28786)
- Appalachian Chimney Services (53 Earleys Drive, Clyde, NC 28721)
- Parkway Heating & Air, Inc (1387 Sulphur Springs Road, Waynesville, NC 28786)
- Quality Air (320 Sardis Road, Asheville, NC 28806)
- WNC Chimney Solutions, LLC (91 Loop Road, Clyde, NC 28721)
- Wright’s Hearth Heat and Home (2614 Hendersonville Road, Arden, NC 28704)
- Rollinsmoke Outdoor, LLC (1605 Harrington Street, Newberry, SC 29108)
- Greentech Manufacturing, Inc (2716 Crescent Drive, International Falls, MN 56649)
- Lamppa Manufacturing (512 3rd Street South, Tower, MN 55790)
Homeowners who live in the project area and own a non-EPA certified woodstove or qualified fireplace can apply for a voucher. Vouchers are available for:
- Up to $750 for replacement of a non-EPA-certified wood stove or qualified fireplace with a new EPA-certified wood stove
- Up to $1,500 for replacement of a non-EPA-certified wood stove or qualified fireplace with a new EPA-certified wood-pellet stove, ductless heat pump or new gas stove
- Up to $4,000 for a single-story home or up to $4,500 for a two or more story home for replacement of a non-EPA-certified wood stove, with a new EPA-certified wood or wood-pellet stove, or ductless heat pump with a new heater rated gas stove, for an income-qualified homeowner
- Up to $6,000 or up to $10,000 for income qualified applicants for replacement of an older technology hydronic heater with a new EPA certified wood pellet hydronic heater, or other clean technology home heating device
Applications for the vouchers are available online. Applications must be submitted directly to the American Lung Association via physical mail. Once people receive their voucher, they will have four weeks to enter into a purchase agreement with one of the participating retailers. The retailer then installs the new stove and recycles and makes the old stove inoperable. Funds for vouchers are limited.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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