Understanding Canadian Wood Stove Certification

A decision to purchase a wood stove in Canada requires understanding of Canadian laws and regulations relating to wood stoves in general and wood cooking stoves in particular. There are 3 things to consider: general safety, your home insurance, and local building code. Please read our guide below for a thorough explanation of these factors. Like most stoves in use in Canada today our La Nordica stoves are not UL or CSA certified.

1) EPA Certification

This is a US wood stove certification which regulates smoke emission levels, not safety, and a) doesn't apply in most of Canada, b) does not apply to cook stoves even in USA. This is true even for British Columbia and Quebec which do require EPA certification for regular wood stoves - even these provinces exempt wood stoves which are used for cooking

Proof that a wood cook stove is exempt from BC's Solid Fuel Burning Regulation (see Section 5): BC Solid Fuel Regulation

The same for Quebec, Environment Quality Act (see the last paragraph): EQA

Nova Scotia: Energy Efficient Appliances Regulation (see item 45 in the table)

To sum up: if you are getting a La Nordica or a similar cooking stove you can safely forget about EPA. And yes, it will still provide tons of heat for your home!

2) Safety Certification (UL, CSA, Intertek etc)

There are 2 types of wood burning appliances: certified and uncertified and both are completely legal in Canada. A classic example of an uncertified stove is any antique stove. Please check your local building code and city by-laws whether or not they have any restrictions on uncertified stoves. "Uncertified" means the stove was never tested to Canadian safety standards by one of the accepted testing labs. This doesn't make the stove illegal but stricter installation rules are applied to uncertified stoves; in practice this means wider clearances between the stove and combustible materials (drywall, wood studs etc). You can greatly reduce this distance by using heat shields to cover your walls. Remember that these clearances apply only to combustibles, if the wall is not considered combustible by the Building Code, and there are no other combustibles within the distance specified by the Code then you can put your stove flush against it!

Everything you need to know about installing an uncertified stove in Canada: here

However, you may want to also check with your home insurance company first. Insurance companies are private businesses and have their own requirements, some of them may refuse to insure a house with an uncertified appliance in it, others may ask for installation to be done by a certified professional.

3) Installation.

If your insurance company and Code don't object, you can do the installation yourself. If they ask for a certified installer then most likely they mean a WETT-certified installer, you can find them here:  WETT

Remember that even an uncertified stove (like our La Nordicas & Lacunzas) can still be installed by a WETT-certified installer.