Outdoor Wood Boilers (OWBs)
OWBs (also known as outdoor hydronic heaters) are fuel burning devices:
- designed to burn wood or other fuels;
- that the manufacturer specifies for outdoor installation or installation in structures not normally occupied by humans; and
- that are used to heat building space and/or water through the distribution, typically through pipes, of a gas or liquid (e.g., water or water/antifreeze mixture) heated in the device.
A typical unit looks like a small metal storage shed with a stack. OWBs can also be used to heat swimming pools, greenhouses, milk rooms, etc.
Regulations for OWBs
DEC adopted Part 247, Outdoor Wood Boilers on December 29, 2010. The rule affects owners, operators, manufacturers and distributors of OWBs. It is also important to check with your town clerk to see if there are any local laws related to OWBs in effect in your town.
- All OWBs sold on or after April 15, 2011 must be certified by DEC for sale in NYS.
- Manufacturers must apply for certification (PDF) for each model to be sold in NYS. A manufacturer's checklist (PDF) should be used when preparing an application package.
- A Notice to Buyer of a New Outdoor Wood Boiler (PDF) must be signed and dated by the buyer (or lessee) and the seller (or lessor) of any new OWB sold or leased in NYS, and must be submitted to DEC within seven days after the new OWB is delivered to the buyer (or lessee).
Nuisance situations typically arise in cases where an OWB is installed close to a property boundary line, has a short stack and/or burns unseasoned wood or other inappropriate fuel. Examples of a nuisance condition are:
- activation of smoke detectors in neighboring structures;
- visibility impairment on a public highway; or
- a visible plume from the OWB contacting a building on an adjacent property.
Contact the DEC regional office for your location if you are adversely impacted by smoke from a neighbor's OWB.