So, you want to heat your home more efficiently, and you know you want to burn some wood to do so. Smart choice. Why? Because wood is plentiful and a renewable resource. Wood burning fireplaces, wood burning stoves and wood burning fireplace inserts are excellent ways to use alternate heating in your home. But which to choose? It all depends on your needs and desires, for all wood burning fireplaces, wood burning stoves and fireplace inserts can be outfitted with options to suit your décor, your house’s theme or even your mood. Not one wood burning fireplace, for example, cannot look modern, Early American or traditional.
Wood burning fireplaces have come a long way. Of course, the first time wood burning fireplaces became more viable in the home with less smoke entering the living area came when Prince Rupert, nephew of Charles I, raised the grate of a fireplace in 1678 to improve airflow and allow for better venting. Afterwards, Ben Franklin developed a convection chamber for wood burning fireplaces and wood burning stoves that improved efficiency. Then Count Rumford came along and designed the foundation for the modern wood burning fireplace, a fireplace with a tall, shallow firebox that better brought smoke up and out of the building. The shallow design also greatly improved the amount of radiant heat the wood burning fireplace or wood burning stove could produce. Now you can get a wood burning fireplace so efficient, the EPA is offering a tax credit on the use of EPA Phase II approved ones. Indeed, you can save up to $1500 on your taxes, or 30% of the price of the wood burning fireplace, on your taxes. How hot is that? The wood burning fireplace will be the focal point of your home, so you should place it in the area of the home that gets the most traffic, for example a living room or bedroom. Here, people will gather around the cozy wood burning fireplace for warmth and to converse, create romance, or just gaze longingly at the real flames, enjoying the crackle and aroma the wood burning fireplace affords. We recommend putting a small wood burning fireplace in your bedroom or opening up two or more living areas with see-through, peninsula or island wood burning fireplaces that will really stun the senses.
As for wood burning stoves, you can’t go wrong placing one in a kitchen. This is one of the highest traffic areas in the home, and it’s also where people come together to cook, converse and create. Think back to olden days when people cooked on a wood burning stove and you’ll see why we recommend one for the kitchen. Because you can cook on some wood burning stoves, you’ll be able to bring back the good ol’ days, especially if you outfit your wood burning stove with country, Early Americana or traditional accoutrements. Try, for example, the Napoleon 1100CN-1 Cast Iron wood burning stove in a beautiful majolica brown porcelain enamel. Its freestanding legged style makes it look traditional or rustic and its beautiful color will match any décor. You’ll get the same EPA tax credit you get on some wood burning fireplaces, too. Or maybe you’d like more modern wood burning stoves. If so, try Horseflame wood burning stoves. We recommend the HF-917UC Baluchi wood burning stove for its tall, sleek, clean lines and its heating capacity of 30,000 BTUs to heat an area 1,100 sq. ft. Its air washed glass provides a great view of the fire. We think this wood burning stove would look great anywhere in a modern household.
A fireplace insert is your option when you have an inefficient fireplace just sitting there being drafty. A wood burning fireplace insert will refresh your area when you retrofit it into your existing space. Some wood burning fireplace inserts also qualify for that EPA tax credit, so choosing one of those is smart. For example, the Lennox Performer wood burning fireplace insert is a nice choice when you want to heat up to 1800 sq. ft. with a performance of 76,000 BTUs/hr. It even has a ceramic blanket that uses technology from NASA and has 10 times the insulation of firebrick, so you know it’ll be efficient and energy-saving. This Burn Smart fireplace insert is indeed smart – and you’ll be smart if you elect to get one. This fireplace insert sticks out of your existing fireplace area, but you can also get one that stays flush against it if you’d like. For example, the Napoleon EPI-1101 is such a fireplace insert. Napoleon won an award for this affordable fireplace insert. For small spaces up to 1500 sq. ft., this fireplace insert is ideal for warming small rooms wherever your old fireplace no longer functions at its finest. We like the idea of retrofitting with a fireplace insert – it renews your space and makes it economical, eco-friendly and elegant again.
Depending on your needs, you can find the right wood burning fireplace, wood burning stove or fireplace insert. It all just depends on your space, your taste and what you want to accomplish. If you want the beautiful roar of a crackling wood fire to warm the cockles of your heart, go for a wood burning fireplace. If you want people to gather around the hearth as they did in years gone by, you can’t go wrong with a wood burning stove. And if you have an inefficient fireplace just making your space drafty, go for a fireplace insert. Whichever you choose, you’ll be happy!
“Fireplace.” Wikipedia. 24 December 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fireplace. 28 December 2009.