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Can a Fireplace Cut Heating Costs?

fireplace heating costs

Beyond its cozy ambiance, many homeowners wonder whether a fireplace can help cut heating costs. The answer, however, isn’t so straightforward. It depends on various factors, including the type of fireplace and its location, among others. For help determining if you could cut heating costs with a fireplace, read on.

Type of Fireplace Matters

As some are more efficient than others, the type of fireplace you have will help determine if it can actually save you money on heating.

Wood-Burning Fireplace

While wood-burning fireplaces are charming and provide a lovely ambiance, they are the least efficient. The ability to save money on heating with one is limited due to their inherent inefficiency. This is primarily because a lot of the generated heat escapes up the chimney rather than warming the living space. The air needed for combustion is drawn from within the home, leading to additional heat loss. The chimney itself can be a source of continuous heat loss, especially if the flue remains open or the damper is not in good condition. 

Ultimately, wood-burning fireplaces create a cozy atmosphere, but they are a lot of work and their inefficiency makes them less cost-effective compared to other fireplace types.

Gas Fireplace

As for gas fireplaces, they are more efficient than wood-burning fireplaces. However, they still experience heat loss, which affects their cost-saving potential. Traditional natural gas fireplaces, especially ones with an open flame, lose a considerable amount of heat. Gas inserts have helped improve their efficiency, though. An insert makes a gas fireplace a more viable option for those who want the convenience of gas heating and better cost-effectiveness. 

Therefore, a gas insert can make for a more economical choice for homeowners looking to balance warmth and energy savings.

Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplaces are highly efficient heating options. They lose only 1% of the heat they generate. This is due to their design, which doesn’t require venting or a connection to the outside. They’re also the cleanest burning option, producing no byproducts that are released into the air. The absence of a chimney or venting system ensures that all the warmth goes into the living space, maximizing their effectiveness.

In the end, electric fireplaces may cost more at first than some other options, but their efficiency and cleanliness contribute to long-term cost-effectiveness and environmental appeal.

Energy Costs

The fuel source that your current heating system uses as well as the energy prices in your area play a critical role in determining if you can cut heating costs with a fireplace. For instance, if you use electric baseboard heat, you could reduce heating costs by installing a gas fireplace. You can use this website to calculate the costs based on home type, fuel source, and energy price to get an idea of if and how much you could save on home heating with a fireplace.

Location of Fireplace

The placement of your fireplace also impacts its efficiency. To enhance efficiency while using a fireplace alongside a furnace or central heating system, you need to follow the “zoned heating” principles. This involves installing the fireplace in a frequently-used area, like the living room. This allows you to turn down the primary heat source, relying more on the fireplace.

Expert Advice, Professional Installation

The choice of a fireplace can significantly impact not only your comfort but also your heating costs. Each option comes with its own set of advantages and considerations. If you’re ready to transform your living space into a haven of warmth and cost-effective comfort, now might be the perfect time to install a fireplace!

Whether you want expert advice on cutting costs with a fireplace or you’re looking for professional installation, contact us. 

Our team is ready to help!

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Team Harding is Ottawa’s go-to destination for grills, fireplaces, and outdoor heat options. Our 4,500+ square foot showroom is stocked with the brands you know and love.

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