Fireplaces Add Value, but What About Energy Efficiency?
What’s better on a cold day than warming by a cozy fire? Fireplaces are valuable assets for another reason besides the pleasure they can bring. They also increase the value of your home by as much 130% of the initial cost of building one. Almost 80% of buyers of homes valued over $200,000 consider a fireplace to be the most desirable amenity. Unquestionably, fireplaces are a great addition to any home. But do they significantly contribute to warming the home in cold weather?
Actually, traditional masonry fireplaces such as were built in days gone by absorb most of the heat from fires, rather than warming the home. In fact, old-fashioned fireplaces can lose up to 100 percent of their heat plus an additional 10 percent of the heat that is already in the room. But these days, with energy consciousness on the forefront, many homeowners choose to install factory-built fireplaces. And with modern design, the view of the flames is available in a variety of appealing ways.
The cost of heating the home efficiently is an issue that is important and will continually be more of a consideration for household budgets, no doubt. There is a place for fireplaces and wood stoves among the environmentally friendly. Many models are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because of the long-lasting heat produced by renewable materials such as cord wood and pellets. In EPA-approved appliances, the dramatically reduced amount of ash and emissions which are produced make a minimal environmental impact.
Besides being amazingly well-insulated, these modern heating appliances are available with blowers and fans. Warming a room quickly and evenly is easier than ever when you use one of these types of factory-made fireplaces or wood stoves.
If you have a masonry fireplace, you can get a fireplace insert, which will produce the same type of results as other factory-built fireplaces. If you don’t have a chimney, that’s not a problem, either. Energy-efficient factory-built fireplaces can have lightweight stainless steel metal flues which can be channeled through a nearby wall. These fireplaces can be between ½ and 2 inches away from combustible materials such as wood-studded walls with no danger that the heat from the fireplace will cause a house fire.
Designers have been pushing the boundaries with contemporary fireplaces. A popular European design provides a panoramic view of dancing flames displayed together with such unconventional materials as colored glass and black onyx. Some modern designs offer two-, three-, and four-sided views of the flames. Some fireplaces today are placed at eye level, which has an elegant appearance of living art.
Today’s clean-burning appliances are excellent heat sources and also provide the advantage of creating less creosote in the chimney. There’s less of a mess and less environmental impact when you burn clean.
Are you ready to switch to a more environmentally friendly, efficient, and stylish method of heating your home? Contact our chimney professionals today for expert assistance choosing a fireplace insert, factory-built fireplace, or wood stove or for answers to your questions about making the most of your fireplace.
Northeastern Chimney, Inc
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110