Lower Your Energy Bill by Heating Your Home with a Fireplace
Winter is right around the corner. If you are worried about the high cost of heating your home during the coldest months of the year, this could be a good time to invest in a fireplace. You can comfortably zone-heat your home with a fireplace to reduce your heating costs.
Zone-Heating with a Fireplace
Centralized heating and cooling systems exert a lot of energy to maintain the same temperature in every room of your home. This means that often you are paying to heat rooms that you aren’t using. In contrast, you can save energy and money by using a fireplace to heat up the area or zone of your house that you spend the most time in. This is called “zone heating.”
If you have a fireplace that’s conveniently located in a living space that you spend most of your time in, you can turn your central heating down and rely on your fireplace to heat up that space. The right type of fireplace can heat a space as comfortably as a furnace. Zone-heating your home, whenever possible, can dramatically reduce your heating costs.
What is the Best Type of Fireplace for Zone Heating?
The type of fireplace that you have will determine how much heat it will radiate into your space.
Wood Burning Fireplaces
Traditional brick and mortar wood-burning fireplaces are the least efficient. Most of the heat produced by the fire will end up being lost up the chimney. You can prevent this by having a fireplace insert installed. A fireplace insert is a specially designed firebox that can be installed inside an existing fireplace. It’s engineered to increase the efficiency and heat output of the fireplace. EPA-certified models—which are designed to reduce the environmental impact through a more effective combustion system—can offer up to 80% efficiency.
Prefabricated or factory-built wood-burning fireplaces have the same high efficiency as fireplace inserts. They use the same technology to produce the highest amount of heat and radiate it into the room. Many new wood-burning fireplaces can generate as much heat as a small furnace.
Gas Fireplaces: Vented & Unvented
Gas fireplaces have become a popular alternative to wood-burning fireplaces because of their convenience. You can turn on a gas fireplace with the flip of a switch or press of a button without the hassle of building a fire. Since gas fireplaces produce less smoke, they don’t require as much ventilation as a traditional fireplace. Unvented gas fireplaces don’t require any ventilation at all. This means that it is much easier and more cost effective to have a gas fireplace installed. How much heat your gas fireplace can produce depends on the type that you choose.
Unvented gas fireplaces are designed to burn all the combustion gases produced by the fire. This is how they can operate without a vent. This design feature results in a higher heat output than vented gas fireplaces. Both can produce enough heat to comfortably warm up a room or space with an open floor plan. How much square footage it can heat will depend on the model that you choose.
Stop by Inglenook Energy Center to learn more about how you can zone heat your home with a fireplace! If your home has a low efficiency fireplace, we can help you find the right insert to increase its heat output. If you are thinking about installing a new fireplace, we can help you find one that will meet your needs and complement your home’s décor.