Traditional fireplaces can be a gathering spot in the home. They can also be inefficient. This can make fireplace inserts, wood and pellet stoves more attractive.
There are many methods of home heating. From oil, to gas to electric, most consumers and homeowners have little difficulty deciding on how to warm their home in the cooler months. For homeowners who want an alternative heating system, a heating system designed to draw the eye and warm the home, or just want to have a backup system in place for those cold winter months, wood stoves, pellet stoves and fireplace inserts may be the answer.
Heating with Wood Stoves
There are many styles of wood burning stoves on the market today. From home heating systems, to wood stoves with built in cooking elements, a wood stove can be a comforting addition to any home.
Wood stoves are a form of space heater, meaning that they heat the air and area around them. In well insulated homes, and homes with more modern layouts, it is possible to heat an entire, average sized home from a wood burning stove.
When considering the installation of a wood stove, the first criteria is location. To be most effective at heating the home, a wood stove should be in the room where the family spends the most time, such as a family room or living room. The second consideration is determining how the heat will travel to the rest of the home.
Homes with open floor plans, and good air flow are the most effective at transferring heat from one area to the next, although many homes can be modified to increase the effectiveness of heating with a wood stove. Homes with many small rooms, however, may not allow for enough air travel to be effectively heated.
When choosing the style of the wood stove, the look of the stove will have no impact on its ability to warm a home, so be sure to choose a design that is favourable and complimentary to the rest of the home. The size of the stove should be large enough to heat the designated area, but not so large as to overwhelm the room in which it is installed with heat.
If using the wood stove as a source of primary heat for the home, consider using an advanced stove. An advanced EPA certified stove is up to 1/3 more efficient than traditional stoves, making them more cost effective over the long term, as well as more environmentally friendly.
Heating with Pellet Stoves
A pellet stove is a great alternative to wood burning stoves for homeowners who are cost conscious or who are concerned with the amount of wood required to make a wood burning stove the primary heat source. A pellet stove uses compressed pellets of recycled wood shavings, sawdust or corn. This, combined with their combustion heating system, makes them an extremely cost-effective heating source, as they only require a small fire to burn extremely hot.
Pellet stoves do have some drawbacks to their use, mostly in the many moving parts needed to help them heat efficiently. These multiple parts will require yearly maintenance to keep the stove working at its peak performance.
Position a pellet stove in the same way one would position a wood burning stove; in a central location in the home, with as much access to other rooms as possible.
A fireplace insert is a great way to adding some heating efficiency to a traditional masonry fireplace. There are multiple styles available, including gas, electric and wood burning fireplace inserts.
A fireplace insert is a type of stove which fits directly inside of an existing fireplace to help make it more efficient. Like wood burning stoves, fireplace inserts must be EPA certified, making them extremely efficient at home heating.
A gas fireplace insert or an electric fireplace insert will not give the same appearance as a wood burning fireplace, but can increase the effectiveness of a fireplace significantly. Gas fireplace inserts will require additional venting, which can make them costlier to install, but easier to use and more efficient over the long term.
Adding a wood burning stove, pellet stove or fireplace insert to a home as a backup or primary heating source can be an eye catching and comforting way to warm the home. Consider their use to make home heating more cost effective, environmentally friendly or both, today.