Ways Fireplaces Have Improved
A fireplace is an attractive focal feature in any room, but a traditional fireplace often isn’t a great heat source. Furnaces have replaced fireplaces as a primary heat source because most of the heat generated by an old-fashioned fireplace is lost up the chimney. Innovations in fireplace technology have vastly improved fireplace efficiency. With the right fireplace or fireplace upgrade, you can rely on your fireplace to effectively zone-heat your home which can reduce your utility bills and environmental impact.
Efficient Fireplace Designs
Factory-Built Fireplaces: Wood, Gas & Electric
Prefabricated fireplaces that are built in a factory and installed in your home have revolutionized fireplace design. Brick and mortar fireplaces that are built into your home at the time of construction can have as low as 5% efficiency. Little has changed in masonry fireplace design since colonial times. In contrast, technological advances are continually improving the quality of prefabricated fireplaces. Innovations in fireplace design have radically increased their ability to generate more heat and circulate it through your home. A new prefab fireplace can have as high as 80% efficiency!
You can choose between gas, wood-burning or electric fireplaces. Many wood-burning and gas fireplaces are EPA certified. Along with their high heat output, they also have a low environmental impact. They are designed to meet or exceed the EPA’s clean air standards. Many prefab fireplaces are customizable. You can modify the look to suit your taste and choose a model with convenient features like thermostat operation or remote control.
A heat exchanger is another fireplace innovation that can increase the amount of heat that a masonry fireplace radiates into your home. Built-in and top-mounted heat exchangers are available. The way a heat exchanger operates is that it captures combustion gases and burns them to produce more heat. It then pushes the heat into your home with either a fan or natural airflow.
A fireplace insert is an insulated firebox that is installed inside an existing fireplace to improve its safety and efficiency. Like prefabricated fireplaces, fireplace inserts can have as high as 80% efficiency and be EPA certified to meet clean air standards.
The first fireplace insert was designed by Benjamin Franklin. Innovations in engineering have greatly improved upon Franklin’s invention. Today’s models not only have a higher heat output, they include features such as remote or thermostat control. An added benefit of installing a fireplace insert is that you can use it to convert a wood-burning fireplace to burn a more efficient fuel like gas or pellets.
Taking advantage of these improvements in fireplace design can help you cut your heating costs. The heat generated by innovative fireplace technology can reduce the strain on your central heating system and lower your overall heating bills. On top of that, relying more on your fireplace to heat your home can reduce your environmental impact.
Stop by Inglenook Energy Center to view a wide selection of live burning fireplaces and fireplace inserts! Our fireplace experts would be happy to tell you more about how fireplaces have evolved and help you upgrade your fireplace.