Cut utility bills by using wood-heating appliances
|Fireplace insert by Regency|
One way to cut utility bills during cold weather is to use a wood-fired heating appliance such as a masonry heater, wood-burning stove, or wood-burning fireplace insert.
|Freestanding wood-burning stove |
Today’s modern wood-burning heating appliances are very efficient and clean-burning, unlike their older predecessors. The Environmental Protection Agency regulates wood stove emissions and has strict requirements that stove manufacturers must follow. This is why replacing an older, dirty burning wood stove is good not only for the environment, but less wood is needed to produce the same amount of heat.
Fuel costs can be significantly less than oil, gas, or electric heating appliances, especially if there is a nearby supply of inexpensive cordwood. For homeowners with their own land and trees, the concept of no cost for fuel other than physical exertion is very attractive. For those wanting to live off-grid, have an emergency heating alternative, or just lower fuel costs, the addition of a wood-burning appliance is a good solution.
|Masonry Heater by Gene Padgitt|
Masonry heaters are arguably the best type of wood-burning appliance. They use old-world technology which is a series of channels installed inside the appliance that trap heat, then transfer the heat slowly through the mass of masonry. Masonry heaters are large and need to be centrally located for maximum benefit. The Masonry Heater Association of North America has more information on these efficient site-built appliances.
Fireplace inserts are appliances that are installed inside an existing masonry fireplace. They use a small stainless steel flue liner and can be used either with or without a blower. By installing a new efficient wood-burning fireplace insert the fireplace efficiency will be increased by approximately 75%.
Freestanding stoves are appliances that are placed in a room and use an existing masonry chimney with a stainless steel flue liner or an independent Class A stainless steel chimney. These types of appliances are also highly efficient.
For more information on fuel cost calculators visit http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/woodstoves.html
Marge Padgitt is the president of HearthMasters, Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. HearthMasters website is www.chimkc.com