Ever wonder how burning firewood is affecting the environment? As a chimney sweep in the North Georgia mountains, I have wondered it myself. I mean, just drive down a country road one morning in the dead of winter and look at the chimney tops. Smoke billowing from house after house and then imagine that that is going on all over the whole country pretty much.
I get asked from time to time if burning wood is bad for the environment so I did some research and must admit, I was a little surprised at what I found out. First off, I will go ahead and admit that I am one of those skeptics when it comes to "global warming" and when I hear people talk about being "carbon neutral" I kind of roll my eyes. I do believe that we should all do as much as we can to lower pollution and carbon emissions.
So to start off, I will explain what carbon is and its role. As bad as people make it sound, carbon is an essential part of life on earth. Plants absorb carbon from the air and then release it back out when they die. So in other words, as a tree grows, it takes in and stores carbon. If the tree dies and decomposes away or is consumed in a forest fire, all that stored carbon is released back into the atmosphere to be used by other plants on earth.
So when you cut up a dead tree to use for firewood, you will be putting no more carbon into the atmosphere than the rotting tree would have done if left alone. Now when other fossil fuels are used in heating your home (LP gas, natural gas, coal and oil) old carbon that has been stored in the earth's geosphere for millions of years is released. Many experts agree that this increase in carbon has a negative effect on our environment and may lead to global warming.
So in summary, using wood to heat your home is not only the most economical way to heat your home but is also by far, the cleanest, "greenest" way to heat your home. For more information on this topic, visit my website www.southernchimneysweep.com
Southern Chimney Sweep