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Smoking out wood furnaces

South Boston News
This exterior wood furnace in South Boston sits close to the residence. Proposed regulations would dictate the size of the lot that can accommodate such furnaces and the height of the chimneys. The concern is the smoke the devices can generate. / November 30, 2011
Concerned with their growing popularity and the smoke they generate, South Boston Town Council is looking to impose regulations on outdoor wood-burning furnaces.

The furnaces typically sit on the ground, away from a home, and pipe warm air into the structure while burning wood – an inexpensive fuel.

Town Manager Ted Daniel introduced this week a proposal to require that their chimneys be two feet higher than the roofline of the residence or neighboring residence, whichever is higher, and that they be at least 50 feet from the property line and 100 feet from neighboring residences.

Daniel said he knew of about five such furnaces in town.

The problem now is the smoke they generate, especially, he said, if the chimney isn’t very high.

Some homeowners use the furnaces to heat their hot water, putting the devices in use even in summer, he said.

But Town Council also had reservations: The budget-conscious homeowner who might have such a furnace might also have a lot too small under the newly proposed restrictions.

Another concern: The sheer height of a chimney that a two-story house would demand. Councilman Bill Snead said in some cases, the chimneys would need guide wires.

Another detail to iron out: Would existing furnaces be grandfathered in?

Fire Chief Steve Phillips told Council he once suspected a house fire in a neighborhood – only to trace the smoke to an outdoor wood furnace.

“More and more of them are popping up,” he said, adding that he doesn’t blame homeowners for trying to heat frugally.

Council will take up the issue again in January.

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The thing that should be capped in this town are the dictator politicians and their lackeys. Regulate Ted Daniel. Not freedom.


Hey SOBO don't leave regressive Halifax County out of this ban on wood burning. Lets just vote to raise some more taxes. That was amazing how you got these intelligent citizens to vote to take their money and give it to the local government. What is that about a wood burning power plant coming in here. They had better beware of the area that wants NOTHING. Lets keep HC and SoBo 40 years behind the times. Lets get another Founders College in here guys that was such a success.

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