Herrington.Leigh@epamail.epa.gov (Herrington.Leigh@epamail.epa.gov)
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Wet Wood is a Waste

EPA offers tips on how to properly use a moisture meter to test firewood before using in a wood-burning stove or fireplace. Wet wood can create excessive smoke which is wasted fuel. Burning dry,…
Added on 2/07/13

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We’re excited to share our newly released public service announcements (youtube and broadcast-ready versions). The two, 2-minute videos, offer easy steps the public can take to help protect their health and save money when burning wood. Please share with others- these are great to post on websites, Facebook and other social media platforms. We plan to edit these videos and release 60-second PSAs in the coming weeks- stay tuned.

“Wet Wood is a Waste” PSA explains how to use a simple moisture meter to test wood to see if it is dry enough to burn. Moisture meters are available in all sizes and can cost as little as $20. Properly dried wood should have a reading of 20% or less.

“Split, Stack, Cover, Store” PSA provides four easy steps on how to dry wood for proper use in wood stoves or fireplaces. They are:

Split wood to a variety of sizes but no larger than a six-inch wedge

Stack wood away from a building and off the ground on a pallet with split side down to promote drying

Cover the top of wood with a tarp or woodshed

Store: Allow time for the wood to dry. This can be 6-12 months, depending on the type of wood.


In the winter, residential wood smoke can be a significant source of fine particle pollution in many areas across the U.S. The pollutant can trigger asthma, aggravate other lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and aggravate heart disease. Research indicates that pregnant women, newborns, and people with certain health conditions, such as obesity or diabetes, also may be at increased risk.

Please contact me (Herrington.Leigh@epa.gov) or Ann Brown (brown.ann@epa.gov) if you need additional information. If you have a local TV station that would like to broadcast the PSAs, please let us know! They should be able to access broadcast-ready versions here- http://www.dvidshub.net/unit/usepa#.URQedPL4LTo

Take care,
Leigh Herrington
Innovative Programs and Outreach Group
EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards
(919) 541-0882

Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/epaburnwise


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