Top 5 Eco-Friendly & Affordable Fires
Is wood-burning in a fireplace or wood stove something an environmentally conscious person should be doing? Under certain circumstances, yes, wood-burning is an eco-friendly heating option. Should wood-burning also appeal to homeowners on a budget who are looking to cut the cost of heating? Yes, absolutely. You can have affordable fires that do little to no harm to the environment. Just take heed to the following tips, and enjoying a crackling fire in a fireplace or wood stove can be a completely guilt-free experience for everyone.
1 – Keep up with Professional Maintenance
Trying to cut costs and have a clean fireplace by do-it-yourself chimney cleaning is not the way to go. Professional chimney sweeps have all of the proper equipment to do a thorough job of cleaning the chimney, and they also have the training to spot any potential problems. For the fireplace and chimney to work properly, there should be no obstructions and the damper should be able to open fully. The firebox and flue must both be in undamaged condition. These are just some of the many things a chimney sweep looks for during inspection and cleaning. Keeping the environment clean isn’t as doable when burning wood if the fireplace or wood stove isn’t working properly. A chimney that has a buildup of creosote creates the risk of a hazardous chimney fire, which usually damages the flue and can start a potentially deadly house fire. Ultimately, do-it-yourself chimney cleaning can end up costing far more than an annual chimney inspection and needed cleaning done by a licensed chimney sweep.
2 – Upgrade to a Modern Wood Stove
Since 1992, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has regulated the manufacture of wood stoves. EPA-certified wood stoves are about 50% more efficient than former models. They also produce less creosote, less smoke, and less pollution. With the innovative design of modern wood-burning appliances, you burn one-third less wood to yield the same amount of heat. Your heating costs can be reduced by anywhere from 10% to 40% by turning off central heating and using a wood stove for warmth.
3 – Install a Fireplace Insert in your Masonry Fireplace
The inefficiency of traditional masonry fireplaces is the reason environmentalists are so against them. At best, an open fireplace has 10% efficiency. If you also take into consideration the air that escapes up the chimney when the fireplace isn’t being used, similar to an open window, fireplaces end up with a negative efficiency rating. Fortunately, there is a fix. Simply install a fireplace insert, and your fireplace becomes about as efficient as above-mentioned modern wood stoves.
4 – Use the Right Fuel
Environmentally friendly and cost-saving wood fires are comprised of seasoned firewood with low moisture content. It takes at least six months for wood to dry out sufficiently. Do not burn things other than firewood. It is especially dangerous to burn treated wood and colored paper, because of toxins that are released.
5 – Burn the Right Kind of Fires
A cool, smoldering fire produces much more soot and releases far more particulate emissions than a clean-burning hot fire in which combustion is complete. The best example of a complete burn is a pellet stove. Wood waste is used to form small compressed pellets, and they burn in an environment that was innovatively designed. The fuel for pellet stoves is more expensive than regular firewood, but you can’t get a more environmentally friendly wood-burning appliance than a pellet stove or a pellet fireplace insert.
Speak to our chimney professionals for more information about cost-saving wood stoves and other eco-friendly modern heating appliances.