Which Type of Fireplace Heats a Home Most Efficiently?
An efficient fireplace is one that can do the best job of helping to lower your utility costs while protecting the environment. Because there are two essential variables determining efficiency, the answer to which is best isn’t cut and dry. The three types of fuels in the running for most efficient fireplace are: Wood-burning fireplace inserts, gas fireplaces, and pellet inserts. The information below can help you determine which is the best efficiency fireplace for your home.
A traditional masonry fireplace is wholly inefficient, drawing heat from the home and sending it straight up the chimney when a fire is burning. To enjoy an efficient wood-burning fireplace, a fireplace insert should be professionally installed. Inserts are fitted to be placed inside a masonry fireplace. With an insert, a fireplace becomes more like a wood stove. Fireplace insert efficiency can be as high as 80% or more, which means that all but 20% of the heat generated goes into the home. The emissions created by an insert can be practically nonexistent, if you have an EPA-certified fireplace insert.
Wood is a sustainable fuel, and it may be the most inexpensive for you, especially if you can fell trees on your own property for firewood.
Vented gas fireplaces can be installed just about anywhere there is nearby access to an exterior wall. These are clean-burning units that pull air from outdoors for the combustion process. The amount of particulate emissions is extremely low when burning gas.
The convenience of a gas fireplace is impossible to beat. Simply use a remote control or thermostat to get the fire started. The efficiency of gas fireplaces is approximately the same as fireplace inserts, at 70% to 80%.
Zone heating is ideal with gas fireplaces. What is zone heating? It is when you, first, install gas fireplaces in the various main rooms of the home. Next, you shut off the central heating and warm only the room you are in. You can stay toasty from your glowing gas fireplaces while enjoying the lower cost of utilities.
Pellet inserts have an advantage over other fuel types because of the innovation of the appliance. Pellet inserts can put off a tremendous amount of heat for up to 36 hours with a completely hands-free operation. The combustion in pellet inserts is practically perfect, making for efficiency ratings of up to 83% or higher. The proof is in the amount of ashes pellet fires leave behind, which is practically nil. The pellets are made with wood waste and are highly compacted in a way that makes for very low moisture.
The disadvantage with pellet inserts is that they require a small amount of electricity to operate. Research shows that the monthly cost of electricity used for a pellet stove in regular use during winter is about $9 per month. If you keep a backup power supply handy in case of blackout, you will be able to continue heating your home while the electricity is out.
Where to Buy a Fireplace
To see a wide selection of modern, efficient fireplaces, using the different fuel types available today, visit Yankee Doodle Stove & Fireplace Center at 848 Danbury Road in Wilton, CT. Our trained experts can answer any questions you may have about the efficiency of certain models. They can also help you choose a fireplace of the correct size for the planned room placement. For these things and any other questions, call Yankee Doodle Stove & Fireplace Center at (203) 544-8111 today.