As winter approaches, you may be wondering what the most economical way to heat your home might be. You definitely are looking for efficiency, and you definitely want an economical way to stay warm on those cold winter nights.
Inefficiency of Mortar Fireplaces
Although fireplaces have a lot of eye-appeal, older mortar fireplaces are known to be inefficient for several reasons. If your fireplace does not have some type of glass doors, the heat from the fire is being drawn out of your home through the chimney. Not only is your home not being heated by the fire, the emissions released into the air can contribute to the polluting of the atmosphere. According to the Chicago Tribune, the type of damper that is in your fireplace can contribute to the inefficiency of your fireplace. If you have a throat damper, it can warp or rust, which causes your fireplace to not work as effectively. All things considered, most older fireplaces can’t really be considered heating sources at all, as most of the heat produced goes right up the chimney.
One way to increase efficiency in your older fireplace is to add an insert. Howstuffworks explains an insert as “basically a fireproof box that’s surrounded by steel or cast iron and fronted by insulated glass, creating a closed combustion system.” Sometimes an insert will include a blower that pushes the hot air back into a room rather than allowing it to escape through the chimney. These inserts use the existing chimney to vent the gasses and smoke outdoors.
There are several types of inserts: wood, coal, or pellet burning; gas; electric; or propane. Which type of insert you choose depends on a number of factors: for example, electric heat is easy to install and offers a quick heat source (just a flick of a switch can turn your ‘fire’ on and off again), while gas heat can offer an efficient, easy to maintain heat source, especially if you already have a gas line to your home. Wood burning takes more effort, as you need to either cut or buy wood to burn, set up the fire, and clean up afterwards; however, you won’t need to worry about a gas leak which might occur while burning a gas fire. (Remember: if you use gas heat, it is of extreme importance that you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.)
Another option might be a wood burning stove. Wood burning stoves have progressed from the stove that your grandpa used. Energy.gov states that modern stoves can not only heat more area, but also burn cleaner and more efficiently than the stoves of the past. One problem with wood burning stoves is the amount of pollutants they produce; if you choose to go with this option, be sure to check your local ordinances to be sure that your stove meets local regulations.
Chim-Cheroo Chimney Service
Whether you decide to on an insert or a wood stove, you can be sure that the experts at Chim-Cheroo Chimney Service can help you choose the best option for your personal needs. They carry only the top brands, and are knowledgeable and professional while helping you pick the perfect heating source for your home.