Fireplaces are not only a desirable home feature in real estate; they can also help you create a welcoming ambiance while heating your home. And while all fireplaces have similar features, not all fireplaces are created equal when it comes to efficiency.
Whether you’re using a fireplace as a decorative piece or trying to heat a room or part of your home, it is important that homeowners understand how fireplace efficiency affects their heating appliances. By choosing a fireplace that is the right balance of utility and efficiency, you can keep your home warm and welcoming for years to come.
If you like the look and feel of an open hearth fireplace – but don’t like how inefficient they are – a fireplace insert may be your best option. Fireplace inserts come in a variety of sizes, styles, and fuel choices and can often be installed directly into an existing hearth.
Inserts are able to operate more efficiently because they create closed combustion system. This minimizes energy loss while also allowing the fuel to burn more completely, saving money in two ways.
Fireplace inserts are more than just more efficient; they can also lower your monthly energy bills. By reducing energy loss up the fireplace, fireplace inserts can reduce monthly heating costs by as much as 40% when installed into an existing hearth.
Nothing else on the market today comes close to gas fireplaces when it comes to efficiency. Most gas units on the market today operate with well over 90% efficiency, making them the most efficient fireplace option available. Likewise, the low cost of propane and natural gas can also help reduce operating costs.
Long gone are the days of blue flames and barely noticeable heat output; modern gas fireplaces are more realistic than ever and many models are specially designed to mimic the look and feel of a wood fireplace. Likewise, with a number of different styles, sizes, and designs available there are gas fireplace options for every family.
Other efficiency tips
While the type of heating appliance you own can have a major impact on efficiency, there are a number of ways homeowners can maximize efficiency and prevent money from going “up in smoke”.
- Use the right firewood. High efficiency appliances need to burn seasoned hardwoods in order to work their best. Likewise, burning this kind of firewood is also better for the overall chimney system, producing less smoke and less creosote than green or freshly cut wood.
- Close the damper. Leaving the damper open when the fireplace is not in use can allow heated air to escape up the chimney. While this may not affect your fireplace performance, it can cause your heating or cooling unit to work harder to compensate.
- Have your chimney swept. Fireplaces need regular maintenance in order to work their best. According to the Department of Energy, soot buildup of as little as one-tenth of an inch can reduce fireplace efficiency by as much as 50%.
Whether you are considering a fireplace for decorative or heating reasons, it is beneficial to make an educated decision as to which option works best for you. Contact Coopertown Services at 901-358-7777 for a personalized heating appliance recommendation based on your needs.