OK. I admit it. I just blew my budget on furnishing the house.
I took advantage of the 30% tax credit and bought myself a spiffy new Wood Pellet stove.
My oil boiler is 84% efficient (not good), and oil is a dirty, imported fuel.
I found a wood pellet distributer, a local hardware store, that sells domestically produced pellets.
So, the fuel is cleaner than oil, domestic, reduces carbon emmissions - and here is the clincher... it costs about 1/2 the amount to heat a space with wood pellets as with oil.
Wood pellets are made from the saw dust that collects at lumber mills. This material used to be thrown away, and would release its carbon as it decomposed. Now we can use it in an efficient way. Some experts say that wood pellets end up being carbon neutral because the forests are replanted, creating a carbon sink. I don't fully understand how that works, but I am glad to reduce my carbon footprint!
I have lived with a wood stove before, and while the heat and ambiance is wonderful, it is an awful lot of work to stack wood and keep feeding the stove. Wood pellets are so much easier!
Here is a link to a cool website that talks about the technology:
The tax credit ends on Dec 31, 2010 (unless it gets extended, but it doesn't look like that will happen right now).
Oil, Propane and Natural Gas are expected to dramatically increase in price over the coming years. Wood products have been steadily decreasing in price over the last decades. I am excited to cut my carbon emmissions AND save money!