Replacing an old fireplace can be a bit of a rush, especially if it’s still cold out and you use your fireplace as your primary source of heat. However, doing a bit of research into new fireplaces first will help you make sure you’re choosing the right heating option for you.
What Fuel Do You Have Available?
In Ontario, most people have both electricity and natural gas hook-ups in their home. However, if you don’t have natural gas you can’t use gas fireplace. You’ll need to choose either a wood burning or an electrical fireplace.
However, most people who live in the rural areas around Kingston can and do use gas fireplaces. The simple reason is that gas heating is typically cheaper for them. This is especially true with new high-efficiency gas furnaces.
Energy Use of Different Fireplaces and Heating Options
If you have the option of choosing between electric, gas and wood fireplaces, you’ll want to base some of your decision around energy use and how much the unit will cost to operate.
Do Electric Fireplaces Use a lot of Electricity/Energy?
The latest electrical fireplaces are more energy-efficient than the models you may have looked into years ago. Still, few people in cold climates will choose electric fireplaces if they need it to provide heat and not just a wonderful winter ambiance. Electric fireplaces may be efficient, but they aren’t very heat efficient. They generate light, but not much actual warmth.
It may be cheaper to run an electric fireplace than a gas fireplace, but the average electrical fireplace can only heat about 400 square feet. On cold days, electric fireplaces are just not enough. That said, if you want to enjoy a fireplace without overheating your home because you have another source of heat, then electric is a great choice.
Gas Fireplace Efficiency vs. Furnace
If you’re choosing between gas appliances, you’ll want to know the cost of running a gas fireplace vs. a furnace. In general, furnaces are more efficient at just producing heat and can more consistently heat larger homes.
But in smaller homes, where the heat doesn’t need to go as far, a fireplace may provide consistent heat to the smaller area while using less fuel. Those who are only looking to consistently heat a small portion of their home, or who just love the ambiance of a gas fireplace, often choose them over gas furnaces. Also, Gas fireplaces are great for when the weather isn’t cold enough to turn on the furnace which is why a lot of homes have both a gas fireplace and a furnace.
Still, much will depend on your specific home’s layout and the models of fireplaces and furnaces you’re comparing. We can show you the best high-efficiency gas fireplace inserts that will work with your home. We can also show you how to make a meaningful comparison between the efficiency ratings on different appliances. More efficiency isn’t always the right thing and needs to be determined for your individual situation.
For all of your HVAC needs, contact the experts at Haven Home ClimateCare.