Whether or not you have solar panels, a wood pellet furnace is the best green heating option for homes with a central heating system.
Addressing the heating segment of our carbon footprint is the most consequential thing we can do to keep faith with future generations, but the fuel options for heating our homes are limited. Systems that run on heating oil dump between 6 to 9 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. Today, many of those systems are being replaced by gas furnaces, but propane is only a third less polluting, and natural gas is actually much worse.
For homes with a central heating system the best green energy option is a hands-free wood pellet furnace or boiler.
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What about heat pumps?
Heat pumps are great for air conditioning and heating during the shoulder seasons, but unless you live in a high performance building you’re going to need some kind of auxiliary heat to get you through a Vermont winter. (See: How Cold is too Cold For a Cold Climate Heat Pump?) A modern, automated, clean-tech heating appliance running on renewable wood pellet fuel is your most environmentally-responsible option.
Yes, wood pellet heating is disruptive.
The heating industry is set up to perpetuate the use of fossil fuels. We have the power to disrupt the chain of home heating greenhouse gas pollution. The key person on your path to heating sustainably is your local heating professional. Start by getting a free quote from your local sustainable heating professional:
choose your county from the list in the sidebar.
78¢ of every dollar we spend on oil or gas heating goes into the pockets of the multinational petroleum industrial complex. When we choose to heat with an automated wood pellet furnace or boiler (or supplement our heat pump with a pellet stove) we are supporting local jobs and regional economies. We are also keeping our heating fuel supply chain short resulting in an order of magnitude reduction in the sunk carbon it takes to bring our heating fuel to the market.
Development is the real threats to forests
It seems counterintuitive that burning wood in clean tech heating appliances would protect US forests, but it does. Most US forests are not protected, and creating a market for waste wood is what drives sustainable forestry practices. (Wood pellet fuel has a deservedly bad reputation when used for generating electricity.) For a full discussion on the role of wood pellet heating in preserving forests and incentivizing sustainable forestry see this article.
We have the power to disrupt the chain of home heating greenhouse gas pollution. Start by choosing your county from the list in the sidebar.