Wett Inspections and Insurance

Wett Inspections and Insurance company – Most companies Require a WETT Certified Inspection

WETT inspections and Insurance companies go hand in hand.  Most insurance companies today require that you obtain an inspection of your wood burning appliance by a WETT  (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) Certified Inspector.  WETT is the governing body who work with insurance underwriters and government bodies, to ensure safe installations and provide standards for inspections and insurability of wood burning appliances, such as wood stoves and open fireplaces.

There was a tendency during the development of the first round of EPA wood stove emissions regulations in the 1980s to rely exclusively on science and technology to reduce emissions from wood heaters. This made perfect sense at the time because most wood stoves were crude boxes with virtually no emission control technologies. Unfortunately, a repeat of this approach appears to be reflected in much of the recent commentary surrounding the EPA New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) review process. Unfortunate because this repeat of the reliance entirely on technology can result in appliances that burn cleanly under laboratory conditions through increased technological complexity but which do not meet user needs. This could produce disappointing emission reduction results in actual use.

Sawdust or other waste biomass material is compressed into small cylinders about 8 mm in diameter and from 10 to 30 mm long to produce pellets. The raw feedstock for pellet production does not include binders or other additives, except in some cases to assist in the extrusion process. In the pellet stove, the fuel is moved from the integral hopper to the small combustion chamber by a motorized auger. The exhaust is forced into the vent with a fan. Because steady state combustion can be approximated by adjusting the fuel and air mixture, pellet stoves can burn with lower emissions, on average, than wood stoves. In contrast, the combustion of a batch of wood in a wood stove never stabilizes, so combustion air requirements are constantly fluctuating and good combustion conditions are transitory. Pellet stoves deliver about the same efficiency as EPA certified natural firewood-burning stoves.

Creosote, a crusty deposit left behind by the smoke that drifts up your chimney, can ignite into a dangerous fire when it builds up. To reduce the build up of creosote burn only clean, well seasoned wood that has been split and dried properly. Dry wood lights faster, burns better and produces less smoke than “green” wood – a major culprit in creosote buildup. You should think twice before you chop up that old furniture and toss it into your wood stove.

Burning garbage, plastic, particleboard, plywood, salted driftwood or any other painted or treated wood releases a toxic cloud of chemicals and can build up creosote. A standard home inspection includes a visual assessment of the components of the fireplace, hearth and chimney. However, depending on your area and the property insurance you choose, a WETT inspection may be required.

Wood, however, differs from fossil fuels such as oil and gas because it is carbon neutral. The term “renewable” refers to the fact that trees recycle CO2. As a tree grows, it uses CO2 from the air as a source of carbon to build its structure. This carbon makes up about half of the weight of wood. When wood is burned, it decomposes rapidly, and CO2 is released into the atmosphere again. A similar amount of CO2 would be slowly released if the tree died and was left to rot on the forest floor. As a result, wood heating doesn##Q##t contribute to the problem of climate change the way fossil fuel use does. But wood fuel is truly renewable only if it is produced by using sustainable forestry practices.

The Barrie Home Inspector is a WETT Certified Professional Home Inspector for the Barrie, Alliston and Orillia area of Simcoe County. The experience and knowledge from over 4,000 inspections allows us to guarantee the best possible WETT and Home Inspection. The Barrie Home Inspector is also a Certified Building Code Official with the Ontario Building Officials Association.

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