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September 20, 2021

Forced air wood furnaces and the Emissions Rule

Common Questions and Answers

On May 15, 2015 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Final Rule of the NSPS for Residential Wood Heaters, which regulates the emissions allowances of wood stoves, pellet stoves, and now hydronic heaters, and forced air furnaces on the Federal level became effective.

All YUKON products fall under the "large" forced air furnace category (newly added subpart QQQQ) of this standard and were given 2 years to comply by way of a transition period to allow for R&D, testing and certification.   

Here are some Questions and Answers that may help inform you on what this standard means to our company, the industry, and you, the end user of the product.   

Q: To what products does this rule apply?

A: The new rule , of course, amends the New Source Performance Standard for residential wood heaters and for the first time would include standards for new residential forced air furnaces and hydronic heaters (indoor and outdoor boilers) that are designed to burn wood.

Q: Is this rule in effect now?

A: Yes – the rule became effective on May 15, 2015 and is a two-step rule going out to May of 2020. The emission rule is varied and has different effective dates for the products that are subject to the rule. Yukon forced air wood furnaces have until May 15, 2017 to become certified. On that date all "large" forced air furnaces will need to comply with .93 lbs/mmBTU particulate matter (PM2.5). 

Q: Does the final rule affect existing forced air furnaces that burn wood that are already purchased or in use?

A: No. The final rule does not apply to wood stoves, forced air furnaces, hydronic heaters and pellet stoves that are installed and in use as of the effective date of the rule.

Q: Who is affected by this final rule?

1. All manufacturers of wood burning stoves and other wood heaters, including indoor forced air furnaces, indoor and outdoor hydronic heaters, pellet stoves and single burn rate heaters.  
2. Distributors and retailers.
3. You - The owners and operators
      3.1    Specifically, this rule sets requirements for the type of fuel that may be used in forced air furnaces and hydronic heaters, and it would be against federal law to operate the equipment in a manner inconsistent with operating instructions in the owner’s manual, such as burning treated wood, cardboard, solvents, trash and garbage, etc.

Q: What is the industry reaction to the final rule?

A: The EPA has implemented a two-step compliance rule. There is general consensus that step one will be attainable on all or at least most all affected product types now that manufacturers have added time for R&D and the testing labs will have time to become more familiar with the Canadian Standard CSA B415.1-10 test method and testing of large wood furnaces. We are grateful that the EPA listened to our (the industry) concerns on coming into compliance upon promulgation of the final rule and we are more comfortable with taking the time that we need to design and develop products that not only will comply with the new emissions standard, but will also comply with the Safety Standards for safe operation of the products. 

Q: Will Alpha American Company continue to offer the YUKON furnace products after the emissions rule comes into effect?

A: Yes, we have every intention of continuing to offer quality products that are safe, efficient, and have low emissions. All YUKON furnace products are currently either UL or c-UL Listed and have been rigorously tested by Underwriter’s Laboratories to meet the stringent consumer safety standards that both the U.S. and Canada have in place for safe operation of household appliances. Our staff is working diligently to modify off our original design in order to keep the furnaces safe and easy for you to operate. The furnaces, once the designs/modifications are final, will go for review by UL to ensure the changes are acceptable to the stringent safety standards and then will be submitted to another test lab for emissions testing using the CSA B415.1-10 method as outlined in the Final Rule. 

There are well over 50,000 YUKON multi-fuel furnaces installed and in use by homeowner’s in the U.S. and Canada and we are taking considerable measures in R&D to account for replacement of the YUKON Husky and Polar furnaces to retrofit seamlessly now and in the future. We are also adamant about the ease of operation by homeowner’s that own and operate a YUKON. It is important to us that your furnace does not become a burden or cumbersome to run.

Updates on any and all progress in research, design and testing of our furnaces will be added to this page. Check back to find out how we are doing in our efforts to continue to offer safe and efficient multi-fuel and wood furnaces that also comply with the EPA’s emissions rule.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have regarding this emission rule and how this will affect our products and you.  

See our comments submitted to the EPA on their draft proposal of the NSPS rule 
Open PDF file » 
Docket ID No_EPA-HQOAR-2009-0734-COMMENTS.pdf


Read about the NSPS Final package that was released by the EPA here Final New Source Performance Standards for Residential Wood Heaters

Click here to read about Best Burn Practices on the EPA's Burn Wise pages.  There is tons of information on types of wood burning appliances, best wood to burn, installation and maintenance, etc.