Zone Heating Can Save You Heating Dollars|
Do you want to lower your winter heating bills and still stay warm? Whether you heat your home with natural gas, propane, electricity or oil, zone heating puts the heat where you need it, when you need it. And, today’s hearth products are available in virtually any style or design to fit your home’s décor.
Used as a secondary source of heat, today’s hearth appliances add comfort and ambiance while reducing household fuel consumption, conserving energy and saving you money. Want to know how this works? Read on.
Not only are fireplaces a selling point for many home shoppers, they also can reduce heating bills.
By turning down your central furnace’s thermostat and heating just the rooms you use the most (not your daughter’s bedroom while she’s away at college), you can save energy and reduce heating costs 20 to 40 percent. There are many options to consider depending on the fuel sources available to you, the layout of your home and the degree of convenience you desire.
If you’re a traditionalist and love the smell and stoking of a wood fire, a wood stove or a wood stove insert (a stove that fits into the opening of your fireplace) will provide wonderful radiant heat. Wood stoves today can be made of cast iron, soapstone or steel and come in an array of styles and colors. And because a wood stove does not require electricity, it will continue to warm your home even when the power goes out. If you have natural gas or propane available, you have many other options. Gas-burning products are the most convenient and clean-burning — with the flip of a switch, the flames will appear. Your options include gas fireplaces (venting is easy today and can be installed with minimal construction), freestanding stoves or fireplace inserts. And, gas products are efficient and virtually maintenance-free.
There are also several environmentally friendly options — if you’re not opposed to a little maintenance to keep your product operating properly. Pellet stoves or inserts are similar to wood stoves but burn wood pellets instead of cordwood. The pellets are made from recycled wood waste or sawdust, burn more efficiently and cleaner than any other wood hearth product, and come in convenient 40 pound bags. Corn stoves are similar to pellet stoves and burn dried corn. Pellet and corn stoves do require electricity and will need a back-up battery or generator to ensure operation during power outages.
Fireplaces, freestanding stoves and fireplace inserts can not only reduce your heating bills and add value to your home, but they can also become a selling feature. A recent consumer survey by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) indicated that almost 60 percent of the homeowners with a fireplace, freestanding stove or insert felt the products were a major selling point of their home.
If you’re interested in learning more about hearth products and what’s right for your home and your lifestyle, visit a hearth specialty retailer in your area and ask if they have installers certified by the National Fireplace Institute® on staff. For product information, manufacturers and hearth specialty retailers, visit http://www.hpba.org/.
[ return to top ]