Homeowners in Cumberland County who own inefficient wood stoves can apply for a voucher worth $1,000 toward a new stove certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of  the Cumberland County Wood Stove Changeout Program announced Tuesday by the American Lung Association.

The program aims to improve outdoor and indoor air quality by removing older, high-polluting wood stoves and replacing them with cleaner-burning, EPA-certified wood, pellet or gas stoves.

Cumberland County homeowners with a wood stove not certified by the EPA can apply for a limited number of available vouchers. The vouchers include:

• $1,000 toward a new, certified wood stove.

• $1,500 for switching from a hydronic heater (boiler) to a certified wood stove.

• $2,000 for a certified pellet, gas stoves or heat pump, if changing from wood stove or hydronic heater.


• $3,000 for income-qualified participants, for certified wood, pellet, gas stoves or a heat pump.

• $4,000 toward replacement of an old, hydronic heater with a new EPA Phase II hydronic heater or Energy Star gas furnace; $5,000 for replacement if the homeowner is below a certain income threshold.

“Replacing older, high-polluting stoves with new ones is an important way for communities to reduce harmful particle pollution and improve air quality,” said Michelle Edwards, the program’s coordinator for the Lung Association in Maine. “The American Lung Association has long been committed to reducing residents’ exposure to wood smoke, and we are proud to continue these efforts in Cumberland County.”

Since 2010, the Lung Association successfully implemented 11 wood stove change-out programs throughout the Northeast, resulting in over 1,000 change-outs to EPA-certified heating sources.

Particle pollution is made of soot or tiny particles that come from combustion. Such particles can lodge themselves deep in the lungs and trigger asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes.

Applications for the vouchers are available online or at participating stores. Once people receive their voucher, they will have 30 days to enter into a purchase agreement with one of the retailers. The retailer then installs the new stove and recycles and makes the old stove inoperable.

In Cumberland County, participating retailers are Embers Stoves and Fireplaces in South Portland, Frost and Flame in Gorham, Goggins Energy in Portland and McVety’s Hearth and Home in Yarmouth. The Lung Association is collaborating on the effort with the Northeast Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association.

For more program details, go to Lung.org/woodstove or call 800-­548-­8252.

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