Many homeowners worry about their home heating bills only when temperatures begin to drop. This can be a costly mistake.
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Many homeowners worry about their home heating bills only when temperatures begin to drop. This can be a costly mistake. Demand for efficient hearth products, such as freestanding stoves or fireplace inserts, skyrockets in cooler months, often exceeding supply. If you were in the market for a hearth product last winter, you may have found yourself facing long delivery and installation delays. Waiting until cold weather arrives again this year could cost you all season long. Right now is the best time to select and install an efficient alternative-energy solution. In addition, in the warmer months, hearth retailers often offer price discounts, providing an incentive to act now.
According to the American Gas Association, turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 percent for eight hours per day can cut annual heating bills by 10 percent. Hearth products offer an attractive and cost-effective way to turn down the furnace and zone heat the areas where you spend the most time.
Determining which zone heating solution is best for you requires considering your lifestyle, where your hearth will be located, fuel type preferred and whether design or heat output is the primary desire.
Pellet-burning appliances continue to gain favor with homeowners because it can cost as little as three dollars to provide 24 hours of steady heat. Thanks to state-of-the-art technology, pellet appliances require simply loading pellet fuel, such as wood pellets or corn, into the hopper and starting the unit. An automatic feed system delivers the pellets into the burn chamber. Quadra-Fire takes the technology even further with its Mt. Vernon Advanced Energy Insert. Offering up to 75 percent efficiency, the insert automatically tracks and adjusts heat output, as well as cleans the unit without interrupting operation.
Direct Vent gas fireplaces offer the greatest level of convenience. Operating at a flip of a switch, Direct Vent gas fireplaces are up to 70 percent efficient. Homeowners can also cut up to an additional 15 dollars off their monthly heating bill by selecting a unit with an IntelliFire electric ignition system found in Heat & Glo, Heatilator and Quadra-Fire brand Direct Vent gas fireplaces.
Many homeowners do not realize that their masonry woodburning fireplaces can actually be a source of heat loss. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a woodburning fireplace can exhaust as much as 24,000 cubic feet of air per hour to the outside, which in turn draws in cold air from the outside through the home’s doors and windows. By converting their woodburning fireplace into a high-efficiency gas, wood or pellet-burning fireplace insert, homeowners can increase the fireplace’s efficiency up to 100 percent.