Tips for Upgrading Fireplace Efficiency and Appearance
It is cozy and pleasant to watch the dance of flames in a fireplace when it’s cold outside, but does your fireplace efficiently contribute to the heating of your home? It’s possible to reduce energy costs by relying on your fireplace or wood stove, but it’s important to note that a fireplace insert will often provide substantially more heat than a standard masonry fireplace. There are also new fireplace designs which can add elegance and a modern touch to your décor.
The fact is that if you have a masonry-built fireplace, it probably doesn’t provide heat efficiently. Masonry fireplaces tend to absorb heat and send much of it up the chimney. It has been shown that a fireplace insert can increase fireplace efficiency by 85 percent.
Plant-derived, renewable materials such as cord wood and pellets can be excellent heat sources. The secret to heating efficiency is using an efficient appliance, such as a fireplace insert or a wood stove. A wood stove that is certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can produce up to 24 hours of heat with one load of seasoned hardwood. A 40-pound bag of pellets can produce heat in a pellet stove for the same length of time. For either heat source, the amount of ash and emissions which are generated is reduced dramatically, which equates to a minimal impact on the environment.
A feature available on wood stoves which is excellent for increasing fireplace efficiency is the addition of blowers and fans. An area can be more evenly and quickly warmed when the heat from the stove is being pushed and circulated into the room.
If your home doesn’t have a chimney, that’s not a problem. Enjoying an attractive, efficient gas fireplace doesn’t require a chimney. Direct vent gas technology makes it possible for you to have the warmth and beauty of a fireplace in no time. The fireplace is simply vented directly to the outdoors through a pipe which runs outside through a side wall.
Besides enjoying an environmentally friendly, energy-saving gas- or wood-burning unit, you can have the convenience of one which is controlled thermostatically. A modern twist available on fireplaces today is the ability to use a remote control or wall-mounted unit to control the height of the flames and the amount of heat generated.
Design boundaries are being pushed in numerous ways, when it comes to modern fireplaces. A look that is inspired by European design is to provide a panoramic view of dancing flames on display with other unconventional materials, such as black onyx or colored glass. The placement of modern fireplaces is also changing, with many being built at eye level, creating an elegant look of fire being art.
One advantage to switching to more efficient appliances is that there is usually a lot less creosote buildup than in a masonry chimney. When you burn cleaner, there’s less mess as well as less environmental impact.
Call our chimney professionals for assistance with a switch to a more efficient, earth-friendly, and perhaps even more stylish method of heating your home.
Northeastern Chimney, Inc.
formerly Nayaug Chimney Services, LLC
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110