There are pros and cons to both. With the fact that there are now wood burning stoves that are certified by the EPA to produce fewer particles, a new wood burning stove is not as bad as an older wood burning stove. When using natural gas, there is the concern about having to drill for the gas. However, natural gas burns cleaner than wood burning stoves and does not produce the same amount of particulate matter that wood burning stoves do. This website, http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/fuels/emerging_biogas_benefits.html, also mentions the fact that it is possible to use natural gas that is renewable.
Of recent times the way we recover natural gas from the ground has changed.
Back in the eighties natural gas was wasted and burnt off as a by product of oil.
Then companies started to capture it and use it to replace coal gas.
Now a lot of natural gas is recovered by a process of injecting hot water and chemicals into rocks to crack the rocks and recover the gas.
This process uses millions of gallons of water and results in the pollution of our ground water/drinking water.
Whereas, burning wood is a natural none polluting activity and wood is renewable in the short term, compared to natural gas that takes millions of years to form.
So yes, burning wood is preferable, providing always the trees are replaced and managed.
Great answer, I have had to use a wood stove to heat my house forever and I wondered how much pollution we were creating in doing so.
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