solid fuel

Heating With Wood Pellets

Posted on May 05,2015 by AlexWilson in firewood

My wife and I have a sort-of love-hate relationship with our pellet stove. She leans more toward the latter, while I see the benefits outweighing the negatives. In this column I’ll outline the primary advantages and disadvantages of pellet heating.

Heating With Wood Safely and Efficiently

Posted on May 05,2015 by AlexWilson in burning wood

I’ve been heating primarily with wood since I bought our house 31 years ago, though there were a few years following our installation of an oil boiler when wood consumption dropped considerably. Wood heat has a mixed record, though. It’s a renewable fuel and, assuming that new trees grow up to replace those cut for firewood, it is carbon-neutral, meaning that it doesn’t have a net contribution to global warming. But burning firewood produces a lot of air pollution; in fact, it’s usually our dirtiest fuel.

Wood Stoves: Safety First

Posted on May 05,2015 by Tristan Roberts in firewood

Nobody speaks of this contest but everybody knows who’s winning. It’s how we get out the competitive impulse in rural Vermont: we race to have the neatest woodpile. Admit it: even as you’re reading this, saying “that’s not me,” you’re mentally comparing your woodpile with the neighbor’s.

What’s the Greenest Option for Home Heating?

Posted on May 05,2015 by AlexWilson in firewood

I've always gotten a lot of questions from friends, neighbors, and casual acquaintances about energy issues, and those questions picked up dramatically when I started writing this column two-and-a-half years ago. Beginning with this week, I'm going to devote an occasional column to answering some of these questions. (Feel free to e-mail questions to me, mentioning Energy Solutions in the subject line: alex@buildinggreen.com.)

What's the greenest option for heating my home?

Understanding Pellet Stoves

Posted on May 05,2015 by AlexWilson in firewood

I resisted buying a pellet stove for a long time for a number of reasons. First, I would be tied to a fuel source that I don’t have control over — and whose price might go up if demand exceeds supply. Second, pellet stoves don’t work without electricity, and I didn’t want to risk freezing pipes in the event of a power outage. Third, I don’t really like the noise of the fan and the blowtorch-like flame. Fourth, I had heard about technical problems with early pellet stoves. And fifth, good pellet stoves cost a lot.

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