NORTHERN NEVADA Public Health Serving Reno, Sparks & Washoe County

What You Need To Know About Installing Wood, Pellet, and Gas Stoves in Washoe County

For further assistance or questions regarding the Wood-Burning Device Program, please contact us at

Photos of a fireplace, wood stove, and pellet stove, from left to right.

Wood-burning devices (fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, and hydronic heaters) are regulated by Northern Nevada Public Health because they are major contributors to air pollution in the Truckee Meadows. Therefore before you make a purchase, it is important for you to spend some time researching whether it is legal to place a wood-burning device in your home.

Fireplaces and certified wood heaters (wood stoves and pellet stoves) are allowed in areas where homes are placed on larger lots so that density does not add to air pollution problems in Washoe County. However, no matter where you live in Washoe County, you can install a gas-fired stove or a low-emitting pellet stove.

To find out the size of your property, you must contact the Washoe County Assessor's Office.

Why is Using a Wood-Burning Device (WBD) an Issue in Washoe County?

The Truckee Meadows has been dealing with air pollution for many years. The two major contributors to air pollution during the winter are motor vehicles and wood burning. There are regulations that require cars to be smog tested, and regulations to reduce wood burning. One of the regulations limits the wood-burning devices that can be put in high-density residential areas.

Over the years, gas stoves have greatly improved in both heating ability and ambiance. The days of gas logs that just look pretty in the fireplace are over. If you are planning to build a large home and would like more than one heating device, we suggest that you consider clean-burning gas or low-emitting pellet stoves, especially since there is no limit to the number you can place in one home.

When it comes to wood stoves and fireplaces, even if your property meets the lot size requirements to have a device, only one can be installed.  

For the re-sale of property that contains a wood-burning device, an inspection must be completed by one of the AQMD-CERTIFIED WOOD-BURNING DEVICE INSPECTORS. For WBD installation info in the Tahoe/Incline area, you must contact the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

How to Determine Your Eligibility and Requirements for Owning a WBD 

The following flowchart will help you determine the proper course of action based on your wood-burning device need. 

Are you
selling and/or
buying a WBD?
Are you...
Are you
going through an
escrow transaction in which a
residential or commercial property
is transferring ownership?
Are you...
No further action required
No further action...
See the Dealer's Affidavit of Sale (DAS) Process
See the Dealer's A...
Does the
parcel have
a WBD?
Does the...
See the Notice of Exemption (NOE) Process
See the Notice of E...
See the Certificate of Compliance (CoC) Process
See the Certificate of...
*Wood-burning Device (WBD) means a device that burns wood or any other solid fuel that contains wood. The device is used for aesthetic or space-heating purposes including, but not limited to, a wood heater (woodstove or pellet stove), fireplace, or hydronic heater.
*Wood-burning Device (WBD) means a de...
Eligibility & Requirement Determination for Owning a WBD
Eligibility & Requirement Determination for Owning a WBD

Check out the proper wood-burning practices to ensure you burn cleanly and efficiently to save money and protect your health and our air quality.

Important contact information

Northern Nevada Public Health Air Quality Management 775-784-7200

Washoe County Assessor 775-328-2277

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency 775-588-4547

Last modified on 08/15/2023