Chimney Restoration: Time to Reevaluate Your Heat Source
Learning that your chimney needs to be restored is never welcome news, but it can be a good catalyst to improve your alternate heating system.
Traditional wood burning fireplaces have abysmally low energy efficiency. Up to 90% of the heat they produce usually escapes up the chimney. Drafty old fireplaces can drive up your heating and cooling bills year-round. Having a prefabricated fireplace or fireplace insert installed, instead of restoring your old fireplace and chimney as it was, is an investment that can cut down on your annual energy costs.
If your chimney is attached to an old wooden stove, this might be a good time to invest in a newer, cleaner burning model or upgrade to an energy efficient prefabricated fireplace.
When you are re-evaluating your fireplace or stove, there are 3 questions you should ask yourself.
1. How much heat output or energy efficiency do I expect?
Modern stoves, prefabricated fireplaces and fireplaces inserts are designed to be energy efficient, but their heat outputs vary from model to model. It is important to determining how frequently you intend to rely on it as a heating source, how much square footage you would like it to heat and what fuel you would prefer to use. Gas and wood are the most popular fuel choices for fireplaces. Gas, wood and pellet are the best fuels for stoves. Each fuel type has different pros and cons that are worth considering.
Asking yourself a few additional related questions can help you pinpoint your preference: Is my primary goal to reduce the draft in my home or to use it is a secondary heating source? Do I want a fireplace or stove that can effectively heat one floor of my home or a single room? Is the amount of smoke or carbon that my alternate heating appliance produces a significant concern for me? Once you have answered these questions, look for a fireplace, insert or stove that meets your expectations or talk to a chimney expert to find out what models they would suggest for you!
2. What aesthetic do I want for my living space?
A fireplace is a focal feature that draws every eye in the room to it. You can dramatically transform the look and feel of a room with a new fireplace. While stoves don’t make as big of an impression, the style of stove that you choose can still impact the aesthetic of the entire room.
Today, fireplaces, inserts and stoves are available in a wide variety of styles from rustic to modern. It is a great idea to browse Pinterest or flip through home décor magazines to get ideas about the style of fireplace or stove you like and how it could look in your living space.
3. How much am I willing to invest?
Installing a new fireplace where a stove used to be is a much bigger expense than installing a fireplace insert in an old fireplace or swapping an old stove for a new one. It is a good idea to do the research to find out the cost for the option or options that you are leaning towards before crunching the numbers and setting your budget. Being informed about the different costs will help you to set a realistic budget.
Consulting an expert is a great way to learn about the wide variety of options you can choose from and find a creative solution that fits your budget and meets your needs. The fireplace and stove experts here at Chimney Solutions would be happy to work with you! We remodel fireplaces, build custom fireplace solutions and install energy efficient stoves for homeowners throughout the Atlanta area.