Fireplaces have gotten a bad reputation when it comes to living a greener, more sustainable life. Many people believe that fireplaces are inherently bad and cause great damage to our environment. However, with a few slight modifications, this argument becomes false. Fireplaces have evolved with the times and now provide consumers with many green options. If you are looking to make your home greener in 2016, continuing reading to find out some of our tips and tricks.
Shop for a More Efficient Stove
Fireplaces and stoves today are much more efficient and emit far less pollutants into the air than in the past. Newer stoves today must adhere to strict EPA emissions standards. In fact, certified stoves emit 70% less pollutants into the air than non-certified stoves. Also, choose a stove or fireplace with a higher efficiency rating. As with most household electronics today, stoves come with efficiency ratings to show how much money you’ll save when using the product compared to other similar products. A higher efficiency means you can burn less fuel, while still heating your home. Choosing the highest rated efficiency stove will not only save you money, but will also reduce the release of emissions and pollutants into the air. If you are in the market for a new stove, consider taking advantage of the HPBA’s Wood Stove Changeout Program. This program covers 10 percent of the cost when you replace your old, inefficient stove with a new wood or pellet stove that has an efficiency rating of at least 75%.
Explore Fuel Options
Wood is not the only option when it comes to heating your home. Many stoves burn a wide variety of fuel sources. More traditional options include pellets, gas, propane, and coal. Of these, gas and propane are the greenest options because of their very low emissions. Many homeowners are now experimenting with burning biomass. “Biomass fuels are derived from renewable and sustainable sources such as wood, pellets, corn, and switch grass that are alternatives to fossil fuels. Some biomass fuels are even considered carbon neutral, or better, utilizing waste products from other industries such as cherry pits and sawdust”. A stove or fireplace insert needs to engineered to burn this type of fuel, but in today’s market that isn’t hard to find. Remember to only burn fuel that is acceptable for your stove. Never burn trash or plastic, as these release harmful chemicals into the air.
Keep Heat Inside
Leaving a smaller carbon footprint and living a more sustainable life is a series of small changes. Changing out your fireplace or stove won’t make much of an impact if your home isn’t keeping that heat inside. Make sure all windows and doors are sealed properly and that the home’s installation is intact, especially in the roof and attic. You may also want to consider utilizing zone heating. Zone heating allows you to turn down your central thermostat and only heat the rooms you are using. If you would like to learn more about how to utilize zone heating in your home, check out our blog post. If you decide it’s time to upgrade to a newer, more eco-friendly stove or fireplace give our team a call. We’d love to help you pick out and install the stove to fit your needs.