Central Heating or Fireplace: Should They be Used Together?
As the cold weather moves in, there is a certain mood that enjoys the use of a good fire. Have you ever wondered if you should, or how to use your fireplace and furnace together properly?
If your fireplace is not maintained properly you can actually increase your winter heating bills. According to the US Department of Energy, wood and gas fireplaces are the most inefficient sources of heat used to keep your home warm. This could cost you upwards of $200 per year. The reason is mostly due to the fireplace damper setting. More than 75% of fireplace energy goes up the chimney - estimates between 80%-90% in heat loss.
Can using your furnace and fireplace together save you money? There is no defined answer - it depends on your home. It is widely believed that a furnace is built to be more energy efficient than a fireplace. With proper ductwork design, it is a better choice to heat your home in the most efficient way possible.
If you do choose to use a fireplace, should you keep your furnace turned on? Yes! Here are 3 reason why.
1. When the fire goes out, or you leave the house, eventually your home will cool off. If you have no heat source for a while, your furnace will need to run a longer time in order to bring your whole home back up to a comfortable temperature. Your furnace will have more work to do and put more strain on your HVAC system.
2. A fireplace only heats a certain area which will create an uneven home environment. Furnaces have better heat output and produce less heat loss - heating your entire home for a nice, even temperature.
3. Safety. It is not safe to leave a fireplace burning unattended. Fireplaces are much less safe than furnaces. Even though smoke primarily escapes out the chimney, there is always a small amount of ash, smoke, and carbon dioxide that stays in the home.
There is nothing like a nice fire on a cold day. However, we recommend using it in tandem with a central furnace to create the perfect indoor environment during the upcoming cold season. Utilizing them together will ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck and keep you safe.
At 4 Seasons Heating, Cooling & Electrical we are heating experts. We can inspect your home heating sources and recommend the perfect way to keep you safe and cozy this winter. Ask for a FREE in-home sales quote anytime by calling (204) 953-5700.