Having a wood-burning fireplace is an immense luxury for any house. It’s worth the effort to build and maintain due to the excellent ambiance that it provides for the house. However, there could be some downsides regarding their impact on the environment.
Burning wood contributes CO2 to the environment in more or less quantity, depending on the wood. Nevertheless, the fireplace is not increasing overall levels of CO2 in the environment as that CO2 was removed from the environment by the tree not so much long ago.
One of the true negative effects of these fireplaces is that they don’t fully combustion the wood. Consequently, the fireplace releases negative agents, resulting in air pollution harmful to the environment.
Wood fireplaces can damage the environment in the long-term due to the carbon release, although just in a slight way. The fraction of carbon contained in the wood would eventually return to the environment when the tree no longer lives, and just a small amount will get mineralized.
Wood fireplaces can also affect a person’s health due to their bad impact on the environment. Atmospheric pollution increases the risk of heart disease, according to research. The most affected are people older than 65 years of age living in small cities.
Are electric fireplaces better or worse?
There are split opinions about the use of electric fireplaces, as they have some pros and cons.
In the first place, electric fireplaces are worse for the environment as they consume electricity in every moment while they are working. Instead, wood-burning fireplaces utilize wood as a source of fuel, which is a renewable resource and is responsibly harvested to take care of the environment. Additionally, electric fireplaces probably involve burning coal and the environmental consequences of coal mining and coal power generation.
The good side of electric fireplaces is that they don’t release smoke or dangerous gases. This factor contributes greatly to the preservation of the environment and reducing air pollution.
Moreover, these fireplaces powered by electricity are more efficient than wood-burning ones, some even might say that by a wide margin. The fact is that with an electric fireplace, the heat is focused on the area or room in usage, while wood fireplaces waste more energy as they warm the entire house.
Electric fireplaces are also good saving people’s money, as gas and wood fireplaces operate at higher costs. Overall, electric fireplaces provide flames with the heat at 10 cents an hour.
Benefits of wood-burning fireplaces
Fireplaces include the following benefits regarding energy and the environment.
Owning a wood fireplace allows people to handle fuel supply and stop depending on utility companies to provide energy. It’s even more recommended for people whose properties have many trees.
They work during blackouts
Homeowners can stay safe and warm during a blackout with a wood fireplace. These will provide light and heat until the electricity is restored.
No carbon footprint
Wood is a sustainable resource, unlike fossil fuels. Therefore, wood-burning appliances are the only ones to leave no carbon footprint. Furthermore, modern models work with more efficiency to reduce energy waste.