The groundhog has come and gone, but New Englanders know that cold seasonal weather will continue for several weeks. Many of us try to reduce high heating costs by burning wood, a cost-saving and renewable source of energy.
Despite the positive effect on our pocketbooks and the aesthetic enjoyment of having a fire in the hearth, there are some less desirable trade-offs associated with using fireplace inserts, wood stoves, or outdoor boilers (also called hydronic heaters). Older wood heaters generally are more inefficient and emit more pollutants into the air than EPA-certified wood heaters or sources that burn oil or natural gas. By following some wood-burning tips, you can help ensure that wood is burned safely and efficiently while protecting the health of your family and neighbors and lowering the risk of a chimney fire.
Wood smoke is made up of a mixture of fine particles and toxic gases that can harm your health. Fine particle pollution isn't healthy to breathe indoors or out, especially for children, older adults and those with heart disease, lung disease or asthma. Exposure to wood smoke increases susceptibility to respiratory infections and, in people with heart disease, has been linked to heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and stroke.
EPA has tips for New England homeowners who heat their homes with wood heaters:
By using a newer EPA-certified wood heater, and following the tips above, you can ensure that your home is efficiently heated and that you have taken steps to reduce the risk of exposing your family and neighbors to harmful air pollution.
Source: Environmental Protection Agency
Date: Feb 23, 2018