Sustainable Woodlot Management for Home Heating
Mother Earth News June/July 2012
"How to Choose the Right Woodstove."
Mother Earth News - December 2011/January 2012
"Introducing the High Tech, Cutting Edge, Carbon-neutral, Alternative Fuel of the Future: Wood."
Popular Mechanics - January 2011
"A century ago, and for about 400,000 years before that, most people burned wood to stay warm. Then the arrival of oil and gas-fired central boilers and furnaces liberated the from the toil mess and smoke. Today Fluctuating prices, a desire for independence and a new generation of clean, efficient stoves have attracted home-owners like Richards to a flourishing back-to-basics home-heating movement."
"Cleaning Up Outdoor Wood-Burning Furnaces"
Popular Mechanics- October 2009
"Outdoor wood-fired furnaces can be a cheap and efficient way to heat the home. But if not run properly, these furnaces can devastate community health and neighborhood relationships. Here's how to keep your outdoor furnace running clean."
Biomass Magazine - July 2009
“Interest in extracting woody biomass—usually the limbs, tops, needles, logging slash and other low-value wood—has increased because of rising fossil fuel costs, concerns about carbon emissions from fossil fuels and the risk of wildfires. Environmentalists are concerned about tapping into available forest biomass, but officials say it can be done in ways that meet the country’s energy needs while maintaining crucial forestlands.”
“Providing Heat is the Most Efficient Use of Biomass”
Northern Woods - Summer 2009
“Efficiency is important because biomass supply is finite. Through nearly three decades of development of a biomass electric power industry, the issue of sustainability of this resource for energy development has been largely overlooked or given short shrift by wood supply studies that in my opinion tended to overestimate the availability of the resource. Now with the eyes of the nation on our energy challenge, and much attention on biomass as a major part of the solution, the supply issue is getting new attention.”
“First Biomass Pellet Mill in US to Receive FSC Certification”
Science & Technology - June 21, 2009
“As fossil fuels get more expensive, some are talking about using more wood to generate energy. A New York-based company, Curran Renewable Energy, LLC, is saying they are the first Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain-of-Custody certified producer of wood pellets for national and international markets. FSC is the global standard-setter for sustainable forest management.
With the increasing importance of biomass as a source of energy, businesses are recognizing the risks that could result from placing increased pressure on finite forest resources to fill the demand for their production, explains Dave Bubser, SmartWood regional manager for the Rainforest Alliance. The FSC/Rainforest Alliance certification acts as a guarantee to consumers and producers that their efforts to promote energy independence and reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not compromised by destructive impacts to forests, communities and wildlife that can result from overharvesting.”
“Wood Stove Changeout Programs Shown to Effectively Clean the Air”
National Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Association - June 1, 2009
“Wood stove changeouts have been regional programs to replace older, inefficient wood stoves with cleaner-burning EPA-certified models. A pilot-program in Libby, Montana, which replaced or repaired 1,130 old stoves, showed that the changeout reduced pollution by 70 percent per stove, on average.
Data shows that Libby residents are now breathing significantly cleaner air both outdoors and inside their homes with the average wintertime fine particulate levels in the outdoor air decreased by 40 percent in 2008. The results are even more dramatic for indoor air quality with initial research by the University of Montana finding the air 72 percent cleaner inside homes with new, EPA-certified stoves. (Details can be found at www.woodstovechangeout.org.)
The success of the Libby pilot program and its remarkable air quality improvements earned the attention of congressional leaders who are now working to put significant funding behind a nationwide wood stove changeout program.”
“The Working Forest”
The New York Times - April 16, 2009
“Managed woodlands are important in fulfilling connections between people and nature,” the plan says. Foster argues, in other words, that we need to get back into the woods, on an everyday basis, both with walking stick and ax.
“That’s where producing local wood is like using local food,” Foster says. “Now we tend to do it in places we don’t see. And we’re going to preserve our land, but, hell, we live in houses and we like the wood. Where’s it coming from? It’s going to come from British Columbia and Malaysia — and cutting it is going to do damage to much more pristine areas and without oversight. Here in Massachusetts, we’ve got oversight. You can’t produce all your wood in the Massachusetts forest, but if you obtain your resources locally, people might pay more attention to how their resources are used. Also, people might live more sensibly if they knew where their resources were coming from.””
“Number of Homes Using Wood-Fired Boilers and Wood Stoves Rises”
The New York Times - February 3, 2008
“For homeowners looking for alternate fuel sources, wood is gradually becoming more popular, according to census data. Wood is winning out over oil, propane and natural gas, vendors of wood stoves say, whether the new units are traditional log-burning kinds or the more environmentally friendly versions that use sawdust pellets.
Wood stoves and boilers are often used in conjunction with oil furnaces and tend to be found in rural areas, census records show. These areas have more single-family homes than apartments; boilers need yards, while stoves can require special chimneys.”
“Inside the ASTM Process”
Hearth & Home - December 2007
“Why is reducing open-door fireplace emissions such a challenge? After all, the industry accomplished a substantial reduction in wood stove emissions over 20 years ago. The straight answer is that the way open-door fireplaces burn wood is substantially different from wood stoves. The chemical and physical processes are virtually the same, but while wood stoves control burn rates and the overall combustion process by changing air starvation levels, fireplaces have no burn rate controls and, in the open-door mode, always have substantial amounts of air in excess of what is necessary to burn the wood efficiently.”
James E. Houck and Paul Tiegs
“Efficiency Is in the Eye of the Beholder”
Hearth & Home - November 2005
“A number of good and well thought-out efficiency test methods exist for cordwood and pellet heaters. In fact, too many exist. They simply need to be reviewed and one needs to be selected, perhaps revised, and then promulgated, or at least formalized, by the hearth industry. A standardized reporting convention needs to be agreed upon. An evaluation of the differences in energy requirements for the acquisition of fuel is needed to compare the real efficiencies of pellet and cordwood heaters. In summary, it is to the hearth industry’s interest to have an even playing field to promote fair competition, to encourage continued product improvement and to widen wood heater acceptance.”
James E. Houck and David R. Broderick
“A Green Label for Wood Stoves?”
Hearth & Home - March 2004
“So how about an energy/environmental label for wood stoves? The concept recently captured the attention of the EPA, and is now referred to as the Green label Wood Stoves Project. However, some people in the hearth industry question the concept’s efficacy for wood stoves and are being very cautious. Because OMNI Consulting Services and its sister companies, OMNI Environmental Services and OMNI-Test Laboratories, have been in the wood stove testing and research business since 1979, and that line of work probably will remain one of our mainstays in the foreseeable future, we decided to get opinions from both sides.
To do this we interviewed the key players in the EPA, as well as John Crouch, director of Public Affairs for the Hearth, patio & Barbeque Association (HPBA). Four EPA staff members were also interviewed.”
“Wood Heating For All?” PDF file
Solar Today November/December 2005