Wood burning stoves offer an affordable and aesthetically pleasing way to heat your home while reducing your carbon footprint. They are cleaner to operate, more energy efficient and more environmentally friendly than central heating systems that run on coal, gas or oil. Indeed, faced with stringent energy saving regulations, architects and building contractors are increasingly opting for wood burning stoves in designing houses that enable sustainable living.
Amongst other things the main environmental advantages of wood burning stoves are notably reduced carbon emissions and the use of a renewable source of energy.
Significantly reduced carbon emissions
The amount of carbon emitted from wood while it is burnt is considerably less than other fossil fuels, particularly coal. In fact the amount of carbon emitted by burning wood is roughly the same as the amount of carbon extracted from the atmosphere and stored by a tree during the course of it’s lifetime.
Furthermore, a tree will produce the same emissions whether it is being burned or left to decompose. Therefore, using untreated wood, particularly waste wood, as fuel will not produce any additional environmental pollutants.
Wood burning stoves can be a fantastic way to reduce your carbon footprint and at the same time save money by burning wood that would otherwise be thrown out. For example, you could collect reclaimed wood from building projects or wood that has been dumped. But collected wood must be untreated and unpainted to avoid the emission of dangerous gases and harmful pollutants as by-products.
Renewable source of energy
Unlike coal, oil and gas, wood provides a renewable source of energy. Most fire wood comes from sustainable sources where a tree is planted for every tree felled for use. The carbon produced while the wood is burned is therefore offset by the planting of new trees.
But why not simply burn wood on a traditional open fire? Wood burning stoves can produce a lot more heat and fewer emissions than burning wood in a grate. This is because wood burning stoves are up to three times more efficient in heat production and therefore use less fuel. Furthermore, in some models, gases emitted by the burning wood can be circulated back into the stove and burnt off.
Wood burning stoves can heat water through a back boiler, meaning less coal, gas, oil or electricity will be needed to heat the water and radiators throughout the rest of your house.