On the Island of Montréal, over 85,000 residences have wood stoves or fireplaces. Some people like to light a fire because of the atmosphere it creates. Other people use wood stoves as back-up heating systems, and a few people still burn wood as the main means to heat their homes.
However, smoke caused by burning wood pollutes the outside air. This pollution can make its way into neighbouring residences and affect their indoor air quality. Indoor air can also be affected when the stove door is opened to add wood or if the stove leaks.
To cut down on air pollution from wood-fired devices, the City of Montréal has adopted a by-law prohibiting the installation of all new wood-fired heating systems other than pellet-burning stoves and furnaces and is presently updating its reglementation. Click here to read the by-law (in French only).
Smoke from burning wood is bad for anybody's health, but some people are especially sensitive, namely,
- people suffering from heart or respiratory problems;
- elderly people;
What can you do to prevent problems or protect yourself?
When a smog alert is in effect, do not use a fireplace or wood stove unless the fireplace or stove is your main means of heating your home.
For ways to reduce the risks associated with wood heating, see Health Canada's wood smoke page .
Where can you find additional, credible information?