5 Reasons to Replace Your Wood Furnace NOW
Wood, which is a renewable resource, is generally considered good for heating. Homeowners have been using wood furnaces since the 1980s; while inexpensive in terms of the cost of fuel, a wood furnace isn’t always the best choice. Gas furnaces, which are cleaner than older units, and manufactured to stringent EPA guidelines, make a far better choice when you take several considerations into account.
Reasons Not to Use Wood
While wood is both a renewable resource and can be sourced locally; burning it is generally considered carbon-neutral. However, there are numerous drawbacks, such as:
1. Transporting Firewood Is Energy Intensive
Wood is bulky and heavy, and moving it requires a fair amount of energy. Even chopping down trees in your yard is a lot of work. Transporting wood by truck uses fuel and can be costly.
2. Less Efficiency
A wood burning stove is just 70% efficient. You can see how a furnace may lack efficiency too. By comparison, a modern natural gas furnace is 80% to up to 98% efficient.
3. Safety Concerns
Wood smoke contains a great deal of particulate matter, which can cause chronic respiratory problems, and may contain toxic and potentially carcinogenic chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
4. Environmental Pollution
Smoke and fumes from burning wood can contribute to air pollution, not only in your home but from particulates the go up your chimney and into the atmosphere. Due to its safety/environmental concerns, using wood can result in a higher insurance premium.
5. Wood Heat Can Be Complex
There are many types of wood, each which produces a different level of heat energy, measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). While Sugar Maple produces 19.0 million BTUs per cord, Hickory produces 29.2 and Osage Orange up to 32.9 million BTUs per cord.
Replacing a wood furnace with natural gas one can mean:
- Improved efficiency
- Better fuel to heat ratio
- Easier to calculate/predict BTUs
- Fewer additional costs (wood cutting, stacking, delivery, etc.) and effort
- Fewer tasks, such as firing the stove, chimney cleaning, and cleaning ashes
Additionally, you’ll need larger amounts of wood for larger homes and outdoor boiler systems. A greener choice for a wood furnace is using wood pellets. If you have a pellet stove, use compressed sawdust, wood chips, or branch tips—what normally would be considered waste is used for fuel. But despite these and some other benefits, a pellet stove must be tended to constantly. This may prove a hassle if you aren’t home for periods of time or need to store pellets outside your home.
Generally, gas is easy to obtain. It is delivered via a pipeline and common in urban areas. Propane is a viable alternative in rural areas where it can be delivered by truck. Gas furnaces can be reasonably affordable to run depending on the gas prices in your state and those set by your utility company/supplier. Plus, there’s no cutting or stacking wood, firing up the stove, chimney cleaning, and sweeping up ashes, all which can take up a great deal of time and energy.
Contact Ideal Temp to Install a Gas Furnace
If you are thinking of replacing your wood furnace with a gas heater, our licensed technicians can determine the type and size of furnace you need. We install heating systems with care, precision, and attention to your comfort. Proper installation means your furnace will run efficiently and won’t cause air pollution. And you can always depend on Ideal Temp for prompt and effective repairs. We also offer a comprehensive maintenance plan that includes filter changes and annual tune-ups.
To learn more about our furnace options as well as financing plans, continue browsing or call 816-720-7803 today!