Biomass furnaces have been gaining in popularity among people looking for a green solution to their winter heating. In the early 1900s, over 90 percent of people used wood for their heating needs. By 1970, that number had dropped to 1 percent, with most people having turned to fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas. Now with increasing concerns over the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels, people are reconsidering these “outdated” heating technologies. Since biomass furnaces use a standard forced-air ventilation system it requires no additional work to install a biomass furnace. Because of this, replacing an existing fossil fuel furnace also requires no specialized ventilation or heat distribution equipment.

Biomass furnaces are capable of burning a variety of fuels, including corn, wheat, and wood. Compared to other fuels, wood pellets and other biomass fuels are much less expensive and they provide more even heating. Wood pellets are proven to burn at 89 percent efficiency. Because of this efficiency and the fact that biomass is renewable, most biomass furnaces qualify for federal tax credits.

Some people are concerned that they’ll have to shovel fuel into the furnace whenever they want heat, but today’s biomass furnaces are fully automated. The only work required is filling a hopper with fuel and removing the ash. A two-set heat exchanger delivers up to 112,000 BTU and the internal fire is automatically adjusted by onboard microprocessors and sensors. Operation of the furnaces is usually done by a wall unit and they will have a visual alert when the 160-lb capacity hopper is running low on fuel.

Learning Heating Technologies at RSI can Help You Start a Career in the HVAC Field

This may sound very complicated and high-tech, but you may be surprised to find out that installation of a biomass furnace is very similar to the installation of a more common furnace. Chances are, by completing the heating programs offered by the Refrigeration School, you will have the knowledge you need to be able to install a biomass furnace. That’s one of the benefits of attending a HVAC school. No one wants to rip out their whole HVAC system to upgrade the technology, so manufacturers build heating and cooling equipment that are easy to connect to existing systems. This is just one of the many benefits of starting a career in the HVAC industry.

If working with these new heating and cooling technologies sounds exciting to you, you should consider a career as a HVAC technician. Contact the Refrigeration School today for more information on our vocational programs!

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