A wood-burning stove creates a comfortable atmosphere in a home as well as heating it. And clean-burning wood pellet fuels can be far more environmentally friendly than simple split logs.
Wood pellets burn cleaner than cordwood because of their lower water content and the higher density of the material. This also reduces the load for transport, and can result in a fuel source with less embodied energy (pellet fuel is best when it can be locally sourced, reducing the energy needed for transport).
But wait a minute, doesn’t burning pellets release carbon dioxide into the air? Yes, but if the pellets are made from fallen wood biomass that would otherwise decompose (like New Earth Pellets from trees killed by the mountain pine beetle), pellet fuel is actually carbon neutral – the total amount of carbon released is the same. And while burning it releases the carbon faster than decomposition, it also removes the need for other even less efficient fossil fuels like heating oil.
Homeowners switching to energy efficient fuel pellet heating can even be eligible for incentive programs from local governments or utilities. For instance, last year Vermont’s governor proposed a plan to offer a $500 incentive for replacing inefficient fuel oil and kerosene systems.
Learn more about pellet fuel heating at the Pellet Fuels Institute website.