A fireplace in a recently-sold Capitol Hill home.
Is this the beginning of the end of the wood-burning fireplace?
On July 1, no wood-burning fireplaces can be built in New York City residences in a measure announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Earth Day. The new fireplace ban, which is one of several similar bans in other cities, is intended to cut down emissions from fireplaces that can exacerbate conditions like asthma. The New York Times reports that some homeowners are worried it’s only the first step to a policy that will ultimately outlaw all the city’s wood-burning fireplaces — which includes the one in the mayor’s residence, where the original Yule Log was first filmed and broadcast.
Many of the cities that have banned the construction of wood-burning fireplaces are on the west coast. Some areas frequently call temporary bans on all burning when conditions mean smoke will stick around longer. San Francisco famously had to call a burn ban this year that fell over Christmas, which was fodder for a lot of “bah, humbug” in December.
Wood-burning fireplaces are much more polluting than their gas counterparts, though those are arguably less romantic. The former gives off 6,200 grams of particulate matter a year, according to the Times. The latter, 23.
New York City’s new regulation also means homeowners have to buy logs with a low amount of moisture, which are less smoky when burned. That shouldn’t be a big deal for the city, because most logs sold already meet the standard. But the law could make listings with fireplaces more attractive.
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/new_yorks_banning_new_fireplace_construction/8509.
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