Wood: A Renewable, Efficient, Clean Energy Source

ARA - With colder temperatures on the way, many people are considering more efficient and more economic ways to heat their homes. The roller coaster of energy prices combined with the strain on the planet's energy sources and the increased pollution can leave you feeling cold.

Tapping into renewable energy sources is an important step toward reducing our dependence on petroleum and minimizing pollution levels.

"One of the best renewable energy sources is wood," says Tom Morrissey, president of Woodstock Soapstone Company, Inc. Increased interest in renewable energy has brought about a revival in wood burning for home heating. In the 1970s wood burning got a bad rap from the pollution associated with it but new technology lends itself to cleaner, more efficient and environmentally conscious ways to heat your home.

The EPA regulated and approved of wood burning stoves in 1990. If the stove is EPA certified, or, a clean combustion stove, it is considered carbon neutral and a good alternative source of heat. What does carbon neutral mean? It means that no more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere than if it were decomposing on the forest floor.

"Woodstock Soapstone Company was founded in 1978 in response to the first energy crisis," remarks Morrissey. "Our wood stoves meet the new EPA regulations for clean burning -- which means you can barely see any smoke coming out of the chimney."

The modern wood stoves made by Woodstock Soapstone Company are exceptionally clean burning. Using catalytic combustors, which burn the smoke so fewer particles are released into the air, the wood stove releases what appears to be more like steam than wood fire smoke. You will burn less wood with a catalytic combustor, with efficiency increased by 25 percent. (If you burned four cords of wood before, you would only burn three cords with an efficient catalytic stove.)

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