Pros and Cons of a Fireplace in Your Home
Get Cozy this Valentine’s Day with Your Fireplace.
Nothing is quite as romantic as grabbing a glass of hot cocoa or an adult beverage and cuddling up in front of the cracking sounds and warmth of a fireplace. For Valentine’s Day and throughout the colder months, many people find themselves getting cozy in front of their fireplace, but is that the best option for finding warmth in your home? We are going to review the pros and cons of a fireplace in your home, so you can make the decision for yourself.
Pros and Cons of a Fireplace in Your Western New York Home
When all is said and done, all homes have a different heating source and their ductwork, thermostat, gas and electric prices, etc. vary, so determining if a fireplace is right for you home, is really up to you. While it is widely believed that a furnace is the better choice for heat, because it’s more efficient and can distribute the heat evenly throughout the home, having and utilizing a fireplace can also have its benefits.
Let’s review the pros and cons of a fireplace in your home.
– Ambiance: Many homeowners would argue that perhaps the biggest pro of a fireplace in their home is the ambiance. Like we said, a fireplace can be romantic, make for a great gathering spot for friends and family, and create a vibe that otherwise would not be there.
– Heat Source: Depending on the fireplace, most remain functional if the power goes out. Nothing is worse than having no power or heat in the middle of a snow storm. A fireplace can provide localized heat to your home, and work even when other heating sources are not.
– Added Comfort: A fireplace can increase a home’s temperature by 15-25ºF. This can be a major bonus when used in conjunction with your HVAC system. A fireplace can heat up the immediate area and provide added warmth to your home.
– Installation and Maintenance Costs: Fireplaces are generally less expensive to install and maintain than a furnace; however, as we will review in the cons, their overall cost and energy losses may actually cost you more in the long run.
– Energy Waste: If your fireplace is not used or maintained properly, in can raise your energy bills and can cost you a lot throughout the year. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, wood and gas fireplaces are the most inefficient heat sources for the home. The primary reason for the energy loss is the fireplace’s damper; either it being left open or not properly sealed. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that this circumstance alone can result in your energy usage increasing by up to 30%, or around $200 a year.
– Cost of Wood: Around 80% or more of the money you spend on wood for a wood-burning fireplace, literally goes up in smoke. Over 75% of heat produced by wood goes up the chimney and you never feel the effects of it, in fact, it is estimated that between 80-90% of heat is lost.
– Heat Output: Using a fireplace to heat a home is less efficient than using a furnace. Furnaces have a much better heat output than fireplaces as they have less heat loss and can circulate air better. A fireplace heats the immediate area and lacks ductwork to distribute the heat throughout the entire house.
– Strain on Your Furnace: If you shut off your HVAC unit to utilize your fireplace, your heater will eventually need to be turned back on. By the time you go to turn your heater back on, many of the rooms in your home have probably cooled down quite a bit, meaning your furnace will have to work harder and longer to warm them back up. That can put a strain on your HVAC system.
– Safety: You should never leave a fireplace unattended, especially when leaving the home or going to sleep. Not to mention, the air that is produced from a fireplace can have some health safety risks. Even though smoke primarily escapes through the chimney, there is still some ash, smoke, and carbon dioxide that can be breathed in.
Do you Feel the Love and Warmth in the Air?
There are pros and cons of a fireplace in your Western New York home, but ultimately the decision to have and utilize them comes down to you and your preferences. There’s nothing quite like a fireplace on a cold day, especially when that cold day is Valentine’s Day.
If you have a fireplace in your home, it is recommended that you use your fireplace and central heat together to prevent energy loss, ensure even heating throughout your home, and for your family’s safety. If using a fireplace, to keep your heating system running smoothly and efficiently, you can turn down the temperature and thermostat by a few degrees and make sure the thermostat is not located too close to the fireplace.
Duffett Plumbing, Heating & AC is here for your Western New York home’s heating needs. We are your team for heating repair, maintenance, and installation services in Hamburg and Erie County.
When your heater quits on you, call us for 24/7 heating repair. No matter what type of heating system: furnace, boiler, ductless, or hybrid unit, your home has, our technicians can get it running again.
We’re proud to offer these heating services in Hamburg, NY: Heating Repair, Heating Tune-Up, New Heating Systems.