Upgrade your old wood-burning stove or fireplace insert at a discount with the Central Okanagan Regional District's Wood Stove Exchange Program.
When you buy a new, cleaner-burning, Canadian Safety Association-certified woodstove or fireplace insert to replace your old polluting one, you can get a rebate of $250.
Participating retailers in the Central Okanagan will take your old wood stove or fireplace insert for recycling and provide all the paperwork you need to get the rebate.
Retailers and more program information can be found online at RegionalDistrict.com/AirQuality.
If you upgrade in March and April, in addition to the basic $250 rebate, you can get an extra $150 or more off the suggested retail price of a new wood-burning stove or fireplace insert.
Also, consumers may qualify for $300 more in rebates from natural gas and electric utility FortisBC if the new wood-burning stove or fireplace insert is EnerChoice rated.
In the past 12 years, more than 600 Central Okanagan homeowners have taken advantage of the rebates.
The regional district started the program because smoke from old wood stoves and fireplaces pump smoke and particulates into the air, creating pollution and aggravating people's respiratory health problems.
It's estimated there are still 20,000 Okanagan homes with old wood stoves and fireplaces adding to air pollution and health concerns.
"By replacing old wood-burning fireplaces and stoves with newer-technology certified appliances, homeowners will burn one-third less wood (while still generating the same amount of heat) and reduce smoke by up to 90 per cent," said regional air quality program co-ordinator Kate Bergen.
"And that will help us all breathe a little easier."
The district also recommends burning only dry, clean wood in small hot fires in cold weather, and having your chimney cleaned annually to avoid creosote buildup and reduce fire hazard.