Benefits of a Fireplace to Heat a home
A fireplace or wood stove adds a certain charm to a home, especially in the colder climates during the winter months. There is nothing quite as inviting as a crackling fire in the fireplace, when the weather is cold and snowy outside. Many people rent cabins and vacation homes in the winter just for the ambiance of a toasty fire to sit next to and toast marshmallows. Less than a century ago, most people used a fireplace or wood stove to heat their home and often cook their food on as well.
There are a few things to consider before getting a fireplace or wood stove to help heat your home. There are options available if you are not sure. Generally speaking, the most popular models are either gas, electric or wood fireplaces. Usually, most people get a gas or electric fireplace as they are more efficient than their wood burning counterparts. However, some people do prefer a wood burning fireplace for various reasons.
A gas or electric fireplace is clean burning with no air pollution, and no debris in your home from wood or pieces that have fallen off of the logs.
The first thing you need to remember is that it is important to make sure the chimney is kept clean and free of soot buildup. (This is not important with an electric fireplace, as there is no chimney).
A fireplace should have doors on the front of it, so the heat from the room does not get pulled up the chimney and go outside. You can also get an attachment fan to your fireplace or stove to help move the heat around the room. This will prevent the heat disappearing up your chimney. There are new designs out every day that are practical yet attractive to the eye. Doors also add a safety feature, to keep small children from getting hurt.
This consists of a metal plate that lines the back of a fireplace. This is used to protect the masonry, but also used to radiate heat back into the room.
Inserts are cast iron or steel boxes that can use wood, electricity, gas, or even coal and are fitted right into an existing fireplace. These are extremely efficient, and can actually reduce home heating costs by 20 to 40% according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association.
Be sure to get the right size stove or fireplace for your home, as it is pointless to get a fireplace or stove only to discover that it is too small and will not heat the area properly. You need to measure the square footage of the room and tell the clerk at the store so they can help you decide how big the stove or fireplace should be to adequately heat the room.
Studies have shown that using a fireplace or stove to help heat the home, can cut the heating bill by as much as 50%.
Overall, fireplaces and stoves can be used successfully to lower your heating bill, add ambiance to your home, and make a lasting impression on visitors when they see how comfortable you are with your fireplace or wood stove.
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