Energy Efficient Fireplaces
With cooler weather upon us, it makes us want to turn on the thermostat and huddle under a blanket. For families with fireplaces, ‘tis the season to light it up and make s’mores. However, many fireplaces are not energy efficient, and much of the potential heating benefits are lost. Here’s a few tips for upgrading your fireplace to achieve maximum efficiency!
The Right Kind of Wood
If you happen to have a wood-burning fireplace and lack the opportunity to upgrade it, dry firewood is one of the best fuels available for you. It burns hotter, releases less smoke, and provides more warmth to the home. There should be less than 20% moisture in the wood you’re selecting to be considered truly “dry”. In addition, different trees have different densities, and burn in different ways – longer, shorter, hotter, colder – so a quick Google search can tell you which type of wood might work best for you and your home.
Wood-burning fireplaces, even at their best, produce a lot of smoke and waste a lot of energy. Much of the household heat escapes through the chimney. Some people find the temperature of their house drops when this type of fireplace is lit.
For pre-existing masonry fireplaces, an insert might be a good option. Because old-fashioned fireplaces can be extremely inefficient, a fireplace insert can help convert it to something more efficient and more convenient. There are three main types of inserts: wood, pellet and gas. Each has their own pros and cons, depending on what you are looking for, but all of them will be more efficient at heating your home than an open stone fireplace.
Inserts are made of metal and usually have glass doors. Newer inserts may even have thermostats attached or ventilation systems to move the air throughout the house. It’s a great way to take advantage of an alternative source of heat, but make it as efficient as possible.
If you can overhaul the whole thing, installing a gas fireplace is a good investment. Some types use vents instead of a traditional chimney. There are many benefits of a gas fireplace: they provide a constant source of heat, instead of getting hot initially, then cooling off as logs burn up, they are easy to use, and they can save you up to 25% on your energy bills.
If you are looking for more efficient ways to heat your home or to save energy, please give us a call at 800-994-2577. We would love to help you out!