Fireplace and stove manufacturers are making cleaner-burning, more efficient products for eco-conscious homeowners who want to upgrade or add a new product to their home.
- Select Cleaner Products. EPA-certified woodstoves and new product units can be up to 90% cleaner than unqualified models. And, natural gas and propane-fueled stoves, fireplaces, and fireplace inserts can be among the cleanest burning fuel options available.
- Identify Your Priority. All fireplace and stove products offer both esthetics and heat, but some are tailored to one use over the other. If you’re looking to supplement the heat in your home, pay special attention to the efficiency rating. Just focused on ambiance? There are a plethora of options in different styles, so focus on finding that perfect centerpiece for your home.
- Explore Renewable Fuels Options. Many of today’s stoves, ¬fireplaces, and inserts are engineered to burn biomass. These fuels can by highly cost-effective and are derived from renewable and sustainable sources such as wood, pellets, corn, and other alternatives. Some biomass fuels are even considered carbon neutral, or better, utilizing waste products from other industries such as cherry pits and sawdust.
- Heat in the Zone. Rather than heating the whole house, warm only the rooms used most (zone heating) allows families to heat more efficiently by turning down the central thermostat, which also saves money on energy bills.
- Burn Wood Wisely. Although today’s fireplaces and stoves are cleaner than their older counterparts, using a newer product is only half the battle. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends proper installation, use, and maintenance. Definitely essential to both safety and to burning clean and green!
- Do the Math and Compare Costs. As the cost of LP gas and natural gas rise, using an energy-efficient wood stove could help you save money. Compare the availability and costs of burning different fuels in your area.
- Keep Heat Inside Your Home. No matter the product, it is important to keep heat within your home. Make sure that seals around windows and doors are tight and that your house is properly insulated.
Asking the Right Questions
Understand all the eco-conscious options available for fireplaces, stoves, and fireplace inserts. These questions may help guide a discussion with your retailer to find the best product and fuel source to suit both you and the environment.
- Where do I want to put the product and why?
- Are there other ways to increase heating efficiency I should consider?
- In our region and with my planned usage, what is the greenest fuel available that would leave the smallest carbon footprint? Are biomass fuels a good option for my home and my use?
- How much fuel should I estimate using in a season (supplementary vs. primary heating source)?
- To keep things running as cleanly and efficiently as possible, what is the best way to maintain the product?
- What are the posted efficiency ratings, realizing the numbers for your particular living condition may vary?
- How do I recycle my old stove? (NOTE: Visit www.recycle-steel.org for your options. Old stoves should not be donated or resold.)