Technology

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With Installing Fireplace Insert

Our house is equipped with an open and screened fireplace. In the colder times of the year, we enjoy the atmosphere of a fire and the extra warmth it brings to our stay. But it’s inefficient, cluttered, and can be dangerous if sparks fly through the screen. When I first started examining fireplace inserts, I was shocked and embarrassed to find that an open fireplace, like the one we have, generates between 50 and 60 grams of emissions per hour of use. In contrast, a built-in fireplace that meets  2020 emissions standards emits 2 grams of emissions per hour. (One cigarette per hour would emit the equivalent of one gram per hour). 

Wood (biomass) is considered by the United States, the United States, and the EU to be a zero-emission fuel. Biomass is considered renewable in commercial applications because when a forest is cut down and replanted,  new trees end up sequestering carbon. This notion of carbon neutrality is controversial. Burning wood is also considered zero carbon because when a tree dies in the forest, it probably emits the same amount of carbon into the atmosphere as if it were burning in a chimney.

If you burn wood in a  wood stove or high-efficiency insert, it may emit less carbon than if the tree died and decomposed in the forest, although the natural decomposition process and subsequent release of carbon are slow and some remains in the soil as humus. Here in the southwest, much of the wood we burn comes from trees that died from insect infestations or had to be cleared from overgrown forests. I bought it was dead when cut.

Thousands of people in this area, like my friend Marty, chop their own firewood. There’s a lot of deadwood. Forests must be cleared. This annual cleaning is a great service to our forests. Our main source of heat is a natural gas furnace. Our fireplace insert will considerably reduce our consumption of natural gas. It is not correct to say that natural gas is a clean fuel. According to Wings .com, natural gas emits about half the carbon of other fossil fuels such as petroleum or coal. This is why natural gas is seen as a transitional fuel rather than a solution to global warming.

In addition to the carbon emissions of natural gas, a huge amount of methane is emitted into the atmosphere during its production, often illegally. , important fossil fuels will have to remain underground.

There are also many stoves. Pellets are considered an environmentally friendly fuel and have low emissions. But they are often shipped long distances, so factor in the carbon generated by shipping costs to get the pellets to your home. Pellets can be produced from wood waste and sawdust. But according to a brief from the Natural Resources Defense Fund, many pellets are produced from hardwoods and pines grown and processed in the southeast, leading to deforestation and pollution. We lose a major carbon sink every time the plantation is cleared. Heating the home with already dead or sustainably managed wood may be a best practice.

Many people also have pellet stoves. Pellets are considered an environmentally friendly fuel and have low emissions. But they often ship long distances, so factor in the carbon generated by shipping costs to get the pellets to your home. Pellets can be produced from wood waste and sawdust. But according to a brief from the Natural Resources Defense Fund, many pellets are produced from hardwoods and pines grown and processed in the southeast, leading to deforestation and pollution. We lose a major carbon sink every time the plantation is cleared. Heating the house with already dead or sustainably managed wood, perhaps a best practice.

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