This webpage is about wood stove and fireplace insertion certification and DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) requirements. You might also want to read more about how to get a permit to install a wood stove or fireplace insert.
Requirements for wood stoves and fireplace inserts
When you sell a home, you must remove, destroy and dispose of all uncertified wood stoves and fireplace inserts. You must remove all uncertified devices from the property for sale, including ones located in garages and workshops.
Uncertified wood stoves are hazardous
According to the DEQ, uncertified wood stoves burn about 70% dirtier than certified options. 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.
The 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 also burn far less efficiently and need more wood than newer, certified stoves. Removing uncertified wood stoves helps restore and preserve healthy air across the state. Learn more about the hazards of wood stoves.
How to tell if a wood stove or fireplace insert is certified
Look on the back for an Oregon DEQ or U.S. EPA (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 wood stoves and fireplace inserts. Only a DEQ or EPA certification label on the back of a device can 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 wood stove or fireplace insert
The home seller is responsible for wood stoves and fireplace inserts that are not certified. The home seller must remove, destroy and dispose of the device. In some cases, both the seller and buyer can agree in writing that the buyer will accept responsibility for a wood stove or fireplace insert that is not certified. The buyer has 30 days after the close of sale to meet the legal requirements for certification.
Who can remove or destroy an uncertified wood stove or fireplace insert
A homeowner can remove and destroy the wood stove or fireplace insert or they can hire someone to do it. The DEQ has a list of potential places to dispose of uncertified devices on the Heat Smart Program webpage.
After removing and destroying the uncertified device, you must notify the DEQ.
How to destroy and dispose of an uncertified wood stove or fireplace insert
An uncertified wood stove or fireplace insert can't be restored or reused as a heating device.
The DEQ recommends:
- removing the door and hinges
- cutting holes in the top and sides of the device at least four inches in diameter to destroy it
- taking the uncertified wood stove or fireplace insert to a scrap metal dealer or recycler for disposal
Get a receipt for your wood stove 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.
It's illegal to sell uncertified wood stoves and fireplace inserts
Selling uncertified wood stove 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.
Notify the DEQ about your destroyed wood stove or fireplace insert
Submit an Uncertified Wood Stove Removal Notification form to the 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 don't need to be certified
The following devices don't need to be certified according to the DEQ. These 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 with the wood stove law
You must remove and destroy any uncertified wood heating device and report it to the DEQ. Fines start at $750 for noncompliance according to the DEQ. Your insurance company could cancel your homeowner’s insurance for noncompliance. The lender could also delay the home sale.
Installing a new wood stove or fireplace inserts
You must get a permit to install a wood stove or fireplace insert. All new wood stoves and fireplace inserts must be certified for emissions performance to be installed in Oregon. Call the General Inquiries phone number for more details.