Smoke gets in your eyes, UPDATE

Just because fuel is gonna be expensive is no excuse for allowing smoky furnaces to be installed outside. Oh by the way for all you wood burners and pellet burners, good luck . I remember two years ago you couldn’t even buy pellets, they were rationed too. I hope we got a law to prevent these from being installed in Town .

There is a citizens petition to take advantage of a tax credit for using alternative or renewable fuels. Outside furnaces are included. We have to nip this in the bud within neighborhoods.

This from the Maine DEP

Is the rising price of fuel getting to you? Are you looking for alternatives to oil that don’t involve the mess and hassle handing wood inside?A new heating technology hitting the market might seem to offer a solution. It’s the option of burning wood in a outdoor wood boiler. Outdoor wood boilers heat water outside of your building in an insulated shed. Underground pipes carry water for both heat and hot water.

Sounds like the answer, but there is a problem—smoke. These burners smoke a lot!

Let’s examine why. For one thing, the firebox of most of the units available today is surrounded by a large water jacket. This is good for heating the water, but it acts to cool the escaping gases before combustion is complete. Incomplete combustion causes smoke.

Another reason that these units tend to be smoky is that the heat demand is very sporadic. There are long periods of time when the wood just smolders in these units. During these periods of low airflow, creosote collects on the water jacket walls. When heat is needed, air is re-introduced and the fire is rekindled. The creosote is then burned off, creating black soot. To make matters worse, the stacks of these units are very short, and the smoke and soot are released close to the ground where it can drift into your neighbor’s yard.

Why is this a concern? Wood smoke contains large amounts of particulate (“soot”), carbon monoxide, and other toxic pollutants. All of these are legitimate health concerns and can justify nuisance complaints. For exactly these reasons, some state and local municipalities have banned the use of outdoor wood boilers.

UPDATE

I am reposting this as I have seen some local new articles about problems with these furnaces. Given the high prices for fuel moving forward my hope is local laws prevail. If you don’t have one on the books you should. It would seem anyone building one is prepared to simply snub the neighborhood.

Update

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2008/hb1405.html

So they have a bill pending but it really doesn’t go far enough. How about this language to be inserted. “If you live in the woods , fine. If you live in close proximity to other people , forget it!” How are Towns going to police the use of non toxic fuels? Can we please move forward a bit in NH, this outdoor furnace stuff ridiculous. Pizza ovens are ok, the occasional brush pile, but c’mon who wants smoke drifting over their yard all winter?

Mike

Mike

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