Wood stove change-out program may end soon

RENO, Nev (KOLO) Wood, pellet, and gas burning stoves are inviting AND pretty to look at, and they generate plenty of heat. They also put fewer particulates into the air than other stoves.

Technology and design make newer stoves more desirable on just about every level, says Washoe County's Health District. That is why it's offering vouchers for the newer stoves as part of the Wood Stove Change-Out Program.

“So this program targets pre-1992 stoves. Those weren't designed with all the technology we see today. Those stoves from that generation were inefficient and create a lot of air pollution,” says Daniel Inouye with the Washoe County Health District.

Inouye is referring to our area’s winter weather air. Called an inversion layer, warm air traps cool air below in the Truckee Meadows during the winter months. Contained inside the trapped air are particulates from wood smoke and exhaust. It doesn't look good and is even worse for your lungs.

Three years ago, the county began its Wood Stove Change-Out Program, in which homeowners can turn in their old wood burning stoves and receive vouchers to buy newer, more efficient wood burning, pellet, or gas burning stoves.

“We subtract the rebate right off the top. And we go in, we have to replace it, the homeowner cannot do that. We remove the old stove. We have to dispose of the old stove. We also have to get the building permit to put the stove in. We do get the building permit. I don't believe anyone else in town does that,” says Randy Caudle with Home Energy Experts.

There are fewer than 40 vouchers left to Washoe County residents who live in the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area and can qualify for the program.

Not all vouchers are for the same amount; there is only one pellet stove voucher left in the entire program. There are 7 qualified dealers who can help you through the process.