Information on unlisted wood stoves and fireplace inserts and legal requirements to remove them when selling a home.
When you sell a home, you must remove, destroy and dispose all uncertified woodstoves and fireplace inserts. The 2009 Oregon Legislature passed this law to protect people from unhealthy wood smoke pollution. You must remove all uncertified devices from the property for sale, including ones located in garages and workshops.
Wood burning is a significant source of air pollution, including fine particulate matter and air toxins. Heavy smoke from residential wood burning can exceed federal air quality health standards for particulate matter. Particulate matter in wood smoke can be easily inhaled and reach the deepest part of our lungs. It can cause or contribute to respiratory disease, asthma attacks, heart problems and premature death. Wood smoke also contains toxic organic compounds known to cause cancer.
Uncertified wood stoves
Uncertified woodstoves burn about 70 percent dirtier than certified options. This can contribute to health problems. They also burn far less efficiently and need more wood than newer, certified stoves. Removing them helps restore and preserve healthy air across the state.
How to tell if a woodstove or fireplace insert is certified
Looking on the back for an Oregon DEQ or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certification label. This label indicates the device has been tested to meet particulate emission standards. An Underwriters Laboratory or UL safety label is not the same as a DEQ or EPA certification label. The UL label does not mean the device is certified to meet emission performance standards.
There is no list of certified devices. Only a DEQ or EPA certification label on the back of a device will prove a device is certified to meet emissions performance standards. Without the DEQ or EPA certification label the device must be decommissioned when selling a home.
You cannot get an existing stove certified. Stove manufacturers complete certification when introducing a new model line. Stoves must have pollution control systems built into them for certification. When manufactured, an independent third party tests them. They must meet emissions performance standards.
Responsibility for removing an uncertified woodstove or insert
The home seller is responsible and must remove, destroy and dispose the device. In some cases, both the seller and buyer can agree in writing that the buyer will accept responsibility. Then the buyer has 30 days after the close of sale to meet the requirements.
Who can do the work
You can choose to remove and destroy the uncertified woodstove or insert yourself, or hire someone to do it for you. If you choose to remove it yourself, DEQ has a list of potential places to dispose of uncertified devices on the Heat Smart Program web page.
After removing and destroying the uncertified device, you must notify the DEQ.
How to destroy and dispose of my uncertified woodstove or insert
An uncertified woodstove or fireplace insert is destroyed when it is demolished to the extent that it cannot be restored or reused as a heating device.
- removing the door and hinges
- cutting holes in the top and sides of the device at least four inches in diameter to destroy it t
- taking your uncertified woodstove or fireplace insert to a scrap metal dealer or recycler for disposal
Be sure to get a numbered receipt from the contractor or business that disposes of your stove and keep it for your records. You will need to reference the disposal receipt when telling DEQ that an uncertified device has been decommissioned.
Selling uncertified woodstove or fireplace inserts is illegal. It is against the law to sell, offer to sell, or advertise to sell any uncertified solid fuel burning device in Oregon.
Submit an Uncertified Woodstove Removal Notification form to DEQ online. After submittal, you will immediately receive a confirmation number. The confirmation number is proof of complying with removal and destruction requirements for uncertified devices. Please print and save the confirmation for your records. You may need it as documentation in closing the sale of your home.
Devices that are not required to be certified
The following devices are exempt from the certification requirements and do not need to be removed from the home at the time of sale:
- Antique stoves
- Central, wood-fired boilers
- Gas fireplaces and appliances
- Masonry heaters and fireplaces
- Pellet stoves
Penalties for non-compliance
Fines start at $750 for noncompliance. Your insurance company may invalidate your homeowner’s insurance. The mortgage company may delay the home sale. You must remove, destroy the uncertified wood heating device and report to the DEQ.
Installing new woodstove or fireplace inserts
You must get a permit from your local building codes department. All new woodstoves and fireplace inserts must be certified for emissions performance to be installed in Oregon. Call your local city or county building department for details.