Wood heating comes with an undeniable charm, adding romance and atmosphere to any home. Unfortunately, the traditional wood-burning fireplace is also a major energy hog, often wasting more heat than it generates. For efficient wood heating, skip the old-school fireplace and try one of these modern, eco-friendly alternatives.
Inserts allow you to use your existing fireplace to burn wood without wasting heat or money. If you just light a fire in your fireplace without an insert, you send up to 300 cubic feet of heated air up your chimney every minute. If you looked at the fireplace from an efficiency standpoint, letting all this heated air go to waste often results in a negative efficiency rating. That means your fireplace is letting more heat--which you pay for in the form of energy bills--escape than it's actually contributing. Adding an insert keeps heat from escaping in this manner, and many modern inserts have efficiency ratings as high as 83 percent.
Replace Wood Stoves
Wood stoves are free-standing appliances that vent outdoors and burn wood for heat. If you have an older, non-EPA certified unit, it's probably wasting a great deal of energy and contributing little heat to your home. Newer EPA-certified wood stoves are up to 50 percent more efficient than older stoves, and can generate the same amount of heat using only one-third as much wood. EPA-certified models also burn cleaner, which means less air pollution and a cleaner chimney, which reduces the risk of fire.
Switch to Pellets
Some wood stoves and fireplace inserts are designed to burn tiny wood pellets rather than standard cord wood. These units require you to arrange for regular pellet delivery, but they eliminate the hassle of chopping and storing firewood for heating. The best part about heating with a pellet stove is that they are much more efficient than standard wood stoves on average. In fact, the least efficient pellet stoves are roughly more efficient than most efficient wood stoves. Keep in mind however, that pellet stoves require some electricity to run, so they won't work when the power goes out unless you use a backup generator. It's also important to check for pellet availability in your area before investing in one of these stoves.
While the classic wood-burning fireplace remains an inefficient source of heat, modern alternatives allow you to enjoy the beauty and comfort of wood heat without the waste. To find out more about heating options, contact a company such as Jim's Burner Service Inc.Share
11 June 2015
Does your air conditioner smell, make loads of extra noise, or fail to cool your home? If you have noticed any of these problems, there might be issues with your air conditioning unit. Fortunately, you don't have to let a bum system make your home stuffy and uncomfortable. Professional heating ventilation and air conditioning contractors can snap your AC unit into shape in no time. By carefully checking your condenser and evaluating your refrigerant levels, the experts might be able to dramatically improve the cooling capacity of your home unit. Read here to find out how to spot problems before they make your space uncomfortable.