Energy is an important part of people’s lives. Heat energy is particularly important in industries and homes for heating purposes. There are different sources of heat energy; some are renewable and others are not. The two major sources of energy that drive industries are wood and natural gas. Furnaces and environment never go together this is because as these sources are burnt to produce energy; there are emissions of toxic products in the atmosphere some of which harm the environment.
Wood is a cheap source of energy and on top of this; it is renewable-renewable in the sense that a cut tree can be replaced by another in a few years. Natural gas on the other hand is a non renewable source. Since wood is cheap, it is widely used by most people. Unknown to them, there are dangerous emissions that pose serious health risks to the users.
Studies have shown that children from families that used wood-burning stoves had a higher occurrence of mild to severe chronic respiratory illnesses as compared to those from families that did not use the stoves. Apart from the respiratory illnesses, burning wood has been found to contain high concentrations of toxic substances like formaldehyde, benzene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Some of these have been declared carcinogens by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
A lot has been done to regulate the production of modern stoves under the EPA requirements to ensure they are cleaner and safer than the old ones. This has cut these emissions by over two thirds; there is however still the problem of emission of the solid matter present in the emitted smoke. This is more than 100 times greater than that found in gas and oil furnaces. Another danger in using wood energy is that people tend to cut more trees than they are planting new ones which contributed to desertification in productive areas.
It is evident that using wood has far more destructive results than using gas or oil as a source of energy. It seems that furnaces and environmental degradation are closely related terms. It is therefore advisable for people to cut back on using wood as a source of heat energy.