Four Wood Burning Options to Heat Your Home
Heating costs burn a lot of homeowners, particularly in very cold climates. As the cost of electricity has continued to climb, many have been searching for ways to spend less on staying toasty and warm in winter. Burning wood is an excellent option, if you use efficient burning and heating methods. The following are four money-saving wood-burning options for homeowners:
1 – Masonry Heaters
Masonry heaters provide radiant heat that can eliminate the need to turn on central heating. Masonry heaters are more expensive to build than typical masonry fireplaces, for several reasons. First, much more masonry work and more masonry materials are required to build a masonry heater. The heating systems also have heat exchange channels through which flue gasses travel before exiting. Long after the fire in a masonry heater has gone out and the damper has been closed, the masonry mass continues giving off heat. There are numerous benefits to masonry heaters. For example, they can have efficiency of up to 80%, whereas a traditional masonry fireplace rarely as much as 10% efficiency. Except for the glass doors, it is safe to touch the heaters, and they can add great aesthetic value to any home. No electricity is utilized, which makes them exceptional heat sources during a blackout in a winter storm. Perhaps the only other down side, beside the cost to build a masonry heater, is that today’s fire produces tomorrow’s heat.
2 – Rumford Fireplaces
Benjamin Thompson earned the name Count Rumford for numerous accomplishments in his life. Among his most notable feats was the invention of the Rumford Fireplace in the 1790s. These types of masonry fireplaces tend to look best in historic homes but can also fit beautifully with modern home design. Rumfords are more efficient than more traditional designs. Rumford fireplaces have shallow depth, a smaller flue than other fireplaces, a curved throat, angled sidewalls, and a higher flue opening. The design creates fires that are clean-burning, which reduces the amount of pollution that’s produced. If you opt to have a Rumford Fireplace in your home, be sure the chimney contractors are qualified and trained to build it. A method has recently been designed which can transform a basic builder box fireplace into the Rumford style.
3 – Fireplace Inserts
The way most homeowners convert a traditional fireplace into an efficient wood-burning appliance is by having a fireplace insert installed. It’s important to have the insert professionally installed, to ensure that it’s both safe and efficient to use. In virtually all cases, it is necessary to have a new flue liner installed with the fireplace insert, and stainless steel liners are highly recommended.
4 – Wood-burning Stoves
Modern wood stoves are a far cry from the pot-bellied stoves the grandfathers of yesteryear used. Thanks to requirements by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), design innovations have increased wood stove efficiency by leaps and bounds. Use less wood to gain more usable heat. There are many gorgeous styles of wood stoves, including soapstone, cast iron, and heavy steel.
These wood-burning beauties are unbeatable options for anyone looking to cut heating costs. If you have any questions or would like to buy a new appliance now, contact any of our member stores for help from certified chimney professionals.