With an installation price tag of up to $20,000, it is understandable why opting for these increasingly efficient wood chip gasification boilers can seem cost-prohibitive to some homeowners—particularly first-time homebuyers. However, there are several key benefits that lead some property owners to conclude that wood chip boilers are worth it! Here are the top five reasons why wood chip boilers are worth the initial expense:
1. Affordable fuel that can also be foraged or harvested: One of the best characteristics of opting for a wood chip boiler is that they save money in the long term. With costs of fuel averaging about the same as those for natural gas for gas-powered furnaces, wood chip boiler fuel can either be purchased from a producer recycling old wood scraps, or foraged, harvested, collected, and cured simply by wandering through your property or a National Park or National Forest after a blustery day. If you have a permit, you can absolutely harvest your own firewood at minimal expense, saving you cash in the long term and preventing unnecessary trips to the store.
2. Progressive energy source that is typically carbon-neutral: Humans have been using the wood-generated combustion process to provide heat and light for thousands of years—however, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been improvements or updates to the efficiency of wood boiler technologies over the years. In fact, with efficiency rates of around 90%, wood boilers rely on wood chips for their energy source—a product that collects carbon during its lifespan and then releases that same amount of carbon when burned. This is known as being a carbon-neutral energy source and is considered renewable as of this moment in time—unlike natural gas, the stores of which are quickly being depleted.
3. Associated tax breaks for green energy: There is good news for those investing in highly efficient wood chip boilers with an efficiency rating of above 75%! As of 2021, homeowners with this particular energy setup are eligible for a tax credit of as much as 26%. So, not only will you be saving on fuel costs, but you will also be receiving annual tax breaks as well!
4. Low-maintenance needs: Wood chip boilers have relatively simple needs; all a homeowner really needs to do is refill the hopper or automatic feed every few days and remove ash and soot buildup as it occurs. This can be accomplished weekly in as little as an hour—but for homeowners looking to go above and beyond in terms of protecting their investment, annual deep cleanings generally take around an hour and can be performed either by the property owner or a technician.
5. Long lifespan: If properly cleaned and maintained, wood chip boilers can last upwards of 20 years. So, even if you get the most expensive wood boiler on the market, you are likely to see enough savings in terms of fuel costs and tax breaks over the years that you may find it is a worthy investment—not to mention it’s easier on the environment!