So you’ve decided to take the plunge and invest in a wood boiler, congratulations! This decision is both environmentally conscious and economically friendly. A wood burning system will save you money in the long run and you can sleep easier knowing your warm and toasty home is following all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines.
The EPA states that the lower the emissions, the higher the efficiency. New wood burning appliances, like a Greenwood® Frontier CX, are greater than 50 percent more efficient compared to older appliances, save you money, and use ⅓ of the wood fuel to achieve the same heat as their predecessors.
One of the most notable aspects of modern wood burning boilers is the improved air quality. This reduction in indoor and outdoor wood smoke pollution, includes lower carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and black carbon (particle pollution). Additionally, better air quality can minimize risks of cancer, asthma and other serious health conditions.
But what if while installing that wood burning boiler you come across some undesirable materials or are exposed to a carcinogenic toxin like asbestos? If your home was built prior to the 1970s there is a chance that asbestos may have been used in your homes tiles, flooring, insulation, caulking and shingles among other things. Asbestos is a silicate mineral that causes mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. Knowing if you have asbestos in your home could save you from facing a battle with cancer.
The disease develops from breathing in the asbestos particles which then get embedded in the lining of the abdomen, heart or most often, the lungs. Those particles could be released into the air during remodeling or anytime that walls, ceiling or flooring are undergoing construction - such as installing a new furnace. Prior to any DIY projects in a 1970s era home, consider having a professional inspect it; it would be a wise and health conscious decision.
Asbestos is not the only toxin that can be lurking in your home - lead is another noxious substance that was often used in older homes. Similarly, breathing in lead dust can cause health issues, especially in children. Lead exposure in adults can lead to cardiovascular issues, increased blood pressure and incidence of hypertension, decreased kidney function, and reproductive problems in both men and women.
For any home-improvement project or installation it is wise to thoroughly research your plans from the start. Installing your own wood burning boiler or furnace may not be for everyone - some things are better left to a professional installer. These experts know the product, the hazards and your home.
To learn more about boiler performance and installation follow Greenwood Clean Energy on Facebook and to learn more about asbestos and the health hazards associated with it’s exposure, visit the Mesothelioma + Asbestos Awareness Center on Facebook.
Special thanks to the great team at the Mesothelioma + Asbestos Awareness Center for providing the information in this post.