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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Clean Burning Wood Stoves
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Keene Woodstove Changeout Campaign

Keene is situated in a valley in southwestern New Hampshire surrounded by high hills and Mount Monadnock to the southeast. Because of this, Keene is subject to temperature inversions on cold calm days during the winter. Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is a hazardous combination of extremely small particles (2.5 microns or smaller) and liquid droplets and is caused by many things, one being inefficient wood burning in woodstoves. Particulate pollution can be harmful because of its ability to penetrate the respiratory system. Once inhaled, it can cause serious health effects and has been associated with hospital visits. Air monitoring data shows that fine particle pollution reaches its highest levels under these weather conditions.

To proactively address this serious air quality problem, a unique partnership was formed by the N.H. Department of Environmental Services and the city of Keene, with support from the EPA and the Hearth, Patio, & Barbeque Association (HPBA), to conduct a woodstove changeout program from October 26, 2009 to June 30, 2010.

Other members of this program included:

  • Southwest Regional Planning Commission
  • Keene State College
  • Cheshire Medical Center
  • New England Wood Pellet
  • Heidi Hales (Vermont’s Changeout Coordinator)
  • UNH Cooperative Extension
  • Southwest Community Services
  • Many local woodstove dealers

The city of Keene was awarded $106,000 for this program. The goal of the campaign was to distribute 100 vouchers, valued at $1,000 each, towards the purchase of a new woodstove at participating dealers. The program facilitated changeouts of 86 old polluting woodstoves to newer, cleaner burning EPA-certified woodstoves, pellet stoves, or gas heating appliances.

The Keene community will benefit by the decreased amount of particle pollution that is released into the air. Due to weather patterns and the fact that these programs impact air quality over time, the public can expect to see fewer poor air quality days during the burning seasons over the next few years.

A final report and materials used for the campaign can be found below:


HPBA logoUS EPA logo





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NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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