Many believe that fireplaces and wood stoves, even though cozy, may not be great for the environment. But this is not necessarily true. All you need is the right equipment and proper burning techniques.
1. If you have a traditional fireplace, consider a fireplace insert. A fireplace insert is like a wood-burning stove that fits right into your fireplace. EPA-certified models burn 70% more efficiently than an open fireplace.
2. Upgrading to new equipment could save you money. If your fireplace insert or stove was made before 1992, you might want to consider a newer, EPA-certified model. These stoves and inserts not only produce less smoke and soot, they're also 50% more efficient than traditional models. So, you'll end up spending less on fuel.
3. Burn the right kind of fuel. The cooler your fire, the more particulate emissions and soot it produces. Ensure that your fire is hot enough by using only wood that has been "seasoned" for at least a year, and hard woods burn hotter than soft woods. Most importantly, never burn wet wood. Pellet stoves generally burn cleaner than wood.
4. Skip the home chimney-cleaning remedies. For newer model fireplace inserts and stoves, a professional chimney inspection and sweeping about every two years is recommended, or one cleaning for every cord of wood burned. But if you have older equipment, or if you regularly burn wood that isn't properly seasoned, you could end up needing a sweeping much more frequently.
Increasingly more and more homeowners are using pellet stoves and wood burning stoves and inserts as a primary source of heat. For more information on these products, contact The Fireplace Showcase.