MOUNTAIN AREA — Living in the Sierra foothills, heating your home with a wood burning stove or fireplace is a way of life for most of the residents. Coming in from the cold to absorb the warmth and seeing the friendly glow of a fire is one of the great things we love about our life here. Not only do we enjoy our stoves, but heating with wood is the cheapest way to heat our homes.
Unfortunately, wood burning from the good old days was not only inefficient, but often left behind a lot of unburned gasses that have been proven to cause cancer and aggravate all kinds of breathing problems. Luckily, there are new technologies in wood burning that have made the currently produced stoves, inserts and built-in fireplaces cleaner burning and much more efficient.
For residents of Madera and Fresno Counties there is a program to replace your old wood or pellet burning device with a new cleaner option. The Burn Cleaner program from the San Joaquin Valley Air Quality Board helps reduce particulate matter that comes from older devices and which contributes significantly to air pollution during the fall and winter months.
Your old wood burning stove or insert (built before July, 1990) or an open fireplace may qualify you for a $1000 grant toward a new clean burning wood, propane or pellet unit. For low income qualifying families the amount is $2500. By upgrading to a new unit you will also burn a lot less wood to get the same amount of heat, not only saving on wood but drastically reducing the cancer causing particulates from dirty wood burning.
If you live in an area where natural gas is not available, you are exempt from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s no burn days, no matter what stove or fireplace you burn. But think of all the advantages of using the new clean burning products. The program is even available to landlords who want to upgrade old stoves for their tenants.
For more information about the Burn Cleaner program go to www.valleyair.org and from the home page click on the Grants and Funding Programs in the right hand column of choices. From there on the website click on Residents and then go to Burn Cleaner. If all this seems too intimidating, come into Mountain Comforts in Oakhurst and pick up the forms and get all the help you may need to take advantage of this great program.
Mountain Comforts is a family-owned retail store established in 1976, specializing in wood, gas, and pellet stoves, fireplaces and inserts. Expert licensed installations, chimney inspections, warrantly services and free estimates.