Burning Wood Is an Eco-Friendly Way to Heat your Home
Unlike other domestic heating resources used today, wood is renewable, sustainable, and affordable. If you’re concerned about the carbon footprint created by using your fireplace or wood stove, the good news is that burning wood is recognized as “carbon neutral” by the Carbon Trust. For several good reasons, wood burning is an environmentally friendly way to heat your home.
Carbon neutral status
During the life of a tree, it absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere. Whether wood is burned in a fire or whether it decays naturally over time, it gives off the same amount of carbon, an amount equal to what was absorbed.
The carbon in fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal, and oil, on the other hand, does negatively impact the environment. They are all obtained from underground stores, where nature deposited them, and carbon is released into the atmosphere without means for an equal amount of reabsorption.
Efficiency of Wood Burning Appliances
Compelled by new and higher standards established in the 1980s by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), designers in technology have increasingly improved the efficiency of wood burning stoves and other wood-burning appliances. The transformation has been impressive; in fact, a modern fireplace insert or wood-burning stove can now heat a room three times longer than an open fire, using the same number of logs. One reason for this remarkable achievement is that wood burning stoves add warmth to a room by circulating the air around the room rather than exchanging the room’s hot air with cool air drawn in from outside.
The high efficiency of wood-burning appliances also means lower emissions. When a fire burns wood longer and more thoroughly, even gases generated during combustion, which are bad for the environment, are burned up. There are some modern stoves which burn so completely and cleanly, they are approved for use in smokeless environments.
Two major factors have contributed to wood burning being an inexpensive, reliable, and eco-friendly method of heating your home, those being:
- The efficiency of wood-burning appliances, as mentioned above; and
- The switch to fully sustainable wood harvesting practices.
The U.S. Forest Service monitors excess timber harvesting and works to ensure that all wood cutting enterprises utilize the required sustainable cutting practices. Wood harvesters are required to plant more trees than they cut down, as a way of keeping trees growing and allowing the resource to remain plentiful.
Right now in the U.S., there are more trees than there were a century ago. This is in stark contrast to fossil fuels, which are projected to be obsolete in 50 years or less. Already skyrocketing costs of heating with electricity, gas, and oil will only get higher in years ahead. Burning wood for heat is currently about one-third the cost of other methods. It’s even possible to get wood for free, if you pick up fallen branches in nearby wooded areas – make sure you have proper permission, of course.
Modern wood burning stoves are a far cry from those used in centuries past. Today’s fireplace inserts and wood burning stoves are eco-friendly appliances. Fortunately, a couple of things haven’t changed. You can still enjoy watching and getting warm near the fire, pleasures which will never be considered passé.
Contact our chimney professionals for help choosing an eco-friendly wood-burning appliance for your home.
Chimney Solutions, Inc.
1155 McFarland 400 Drive, Alpharetta GA 30004
Office 770-255-1300 / Toll Free 877-697-9337