In an age of environmental concerns and skyrocketing energy costs, the search for alternative methods for providing home heating and hot water has intensified. With trouble seemingly everywhere in the world where energy is produced, there is always speculation that the costs for fuel will only rise with each passing year. History is always a good predictor of future trends in the area of energy, and the recent history of fuel costs and availability has not been a pleasant one for most homeowners. With each winter bringing fears in the northeastern United States that the cost of heating a home will prove untenable, there has been no time like the present to look at getting a wood gasification boiler for your home heating needs.
Is it a wood burning stove?
The first question most people ask is whether a wood gasification boiler is just another name for a wood burning stove. Well, the simple answer is yes … and no. Obviously, the wood gasification boiler uses wood to produce heat, and it does so by burning the fuel source. In that respect, it is similar to the old wood burning stoves that have been around since Ben Franklin’s day. There are major differences between these new high tech units and that old technology however, since the gasification process is a far more complex and technologically advanced mechanism for producing heat than its older technological brethren.
The first difference involves the cleaner heat that is produced. Because the wood gasification boiler burns the wood in a firebox, while at the same time capturing the smoke and heated air that would otherwise escape into the atmosphere of your home, it is considerably more energy efficient than the old wood burning stoves. The capture of the burning byproducts results in the boiler superheating those gases and using the resulting heat as yet another heat source for your home. By making greater use of the entire fuel source, the gasification process is a great way for environmentally-conscious homeowners to provide for their heating needs while still maintaining a small carbon footprint.
One of the results of this wood gasification boiler process is that the boiler uses almost the entirety of the gases produced from the burn process, leaving behind very little by way of soot or residue. The majority of the gases produced by burning are converted into heat, raising the overall efficiency of these units to something approaching ninety percent. In addition, the wood typically burns for somewhere between eight and twelve hours, meaning that you need far fewer trips to the old wood pile to keep your boiler running.
One problem with many alternative heating methods is the added risk of fire. With a wood gasification boiler, you have almost no opportunity for any type of combustion. Chimney fires are a thing of the past, and the amount of pollution created is all but negligible. Best of all, the wood itself is a renewable resource – exactly the same type of resource environmentalists have been urging the rest of us to use for so very long! With that in mind, it is little wonder that these wood boilers are gaining more and more respect amongst homeowners and energy experts alike.
Finally, your wood gasification boiler can be adapted and joined with your current home heating system to provide the type of low cost heat you’ve only dreamed about in the past. When your boiler is linked to your conventional furnace system, you even have the option of switching back to the regular furnace any time that you are absent from your home, as an added safety precaution.