Published On: Sat, Nov 4th, 2017

The Eco-benefits of Wood Burning Stoves

As the nights grow colder, you will probably start turning up the heating in your home (and who could blame you?) but as eco-friendly people know, it’s not very green.

One of the most environmentally friendly ways to heat your home is a wood burning stove. Compared with central heating systems that run on coal, gas, or oil, they are more energy efficient, cleaner to use, and far greener.To give you an example, many architects and builders are choosing to install wood burning stoves in new build houses to meet certain sustainability requirements and laws.

photo/ José Cláudio Guimarães/ JCGuimaraes

Sharp Drop in Carbon Emissions

Yes, you heard right. Burning wood is significantly more sustainable than other forms of heating.The amount of carbon that is emitted from wood during the burning process is far less than that of other fossil fuels, especially coal.

In fact, burning an entire tree’s worth of wood (not that you should do it all in one go) will only release the amount of carbon that has been extracted from the atmosphere and stored by the tree over its lifetime.

In addition, a tree will produce the same amount of carbon whether it is burned or left to decompose, so burning untreated wood will not release any extra pollutants into the atmosphere.

It Runs on Waste

Even better, you can use waste wood to cut your own costs (by not having to pay for your heating) and environmental waste (by saving things from the dreaded landfill).

Where would you get this waste wood?

  • Skips at building sites (just make sure it’s not varnished or painted because heating that will be dangerous and incredibly un-eco)
  • Local online adverts (many people will give away waste wood so that they don’t have to dispose of it themselves)
  • Your garden/ neighbour’s garden/ friend’s garden (everyone has to trim back trees)

If you’re concerned about how to safely turn this type of waste wood into firewood, consider investing in some professional firewood processing equipment, like that supplied by Fellotool. Log saws and wood splitters will turn tree branches and the like into firewood much faster than doing it by hand, leaving you more time to relax in front of the roaring fire.

Renewable Source of Energy

Unlike the big three fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas), wood is a renewable energy source and if buying new wood (as opposed to waste wood) it is sustainably sourced i.e. a new tree is planted for every tree cut down.

Wood Stoves v Open Fires

The fact is that open fires are far more wasteful interms of heat that a wood burning stove that is specially built as an effective source of heat. For example, some models of wood burning stoves will even re-circulate the gases emitted from burning back into the stove to be burnt off (creating more heat) and many heat water through a back boiler which will heat the rest of the house (reducing your dependence on fossil fuels).

So, what did you think of the eco-benefits of wood burning stoves? Do you already have one? Let us know in the comments below.


About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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