To the Editor:
I spent a few hours on the computer researching Jessica Cohen’s article on woodstoves (“‘Wood-burning heat is cheap, but it kills’: Architect and others weigh alternatives,” March 25) stating that wood burning is cheap but it kills. She is correct in one respect but not 100 percent, lacking complete accurate information. Many of the old school woodstoves should be removed and brought to a salvage yard. Coal stoves, which are far worse, and old inefficient oil furnaces should also be replaced.
I would advise Jessica to further research the newer woodstoves on the market, mainly the ones that have a catalytic honeycomb in the stove. These are the most efficient and non-polluting stoves on the market. The catalytic honeycomb burns off the gases that burning wood produces, therefore eliminating the potential for these gases to travel up the chimney and into the air.
When these woodstoves are used properly, they match the best furnaces on the market. The user must use seasoned wood and keep a good fire burning with enough air to produce a bright flame. Even when used properly, the catalytic honeycomb should be cleaned yearly and replaced every five years, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
There are some great advantages to using a woodstove as a heating source. Cutting and splitting wood is great exercise. There’s a saying – “a man who cuts his own wood is twice warmed.” Burning wood appropriately is also very cost effective. Wood is a renewable resource.
All in all, the article was informative but incomplete.