It is late summer, and fall weather will start bringing cool temperatures with it soon! Now is the time to begin thinking about your home heating. There are numerous options to heat your home including central heat, wood and gas appliances, and a wood fireplace. Each of these options has benefits and drawbacks, and each home and family has specific needs and wishes to consider as well. While you are researching options and making decisions that will affect your energy bill, your comfort, and your decor, there are four things to keep in mind.
Appliances are designed to burn a specific kind of fuel. If you decide to use a pellet stove, you should only use a manufactured pellet product designed for that appliance. If you are using a wood fireplace or stove, you should use only properly seasoned wood. If you use a gas appliance or insert, you should have an existing natural gas hook-up, or have one professionally installed.
Depending on what kind of heat appliance you decide to use this winter, you may be able to use the existing chimney, or even avoid using one at all. Vent-free fireplace inserts don’t require chimney ventilation. Other inserts that do require ventilation don’t necessarily have to use the chimney. Your technician can actually use an alternate route during installation. Keep in mind that you can use your stainless steel flue liner for all fuel types. However, if you have a tile or cast liner, you will need to convert to an appropriate flue liner before using your appliance.
When choosing your new heat appliance for your home, don’t only think of the cost to buy and install it. Consider the energy cost over the winter as well as the routine maintenance. Some appliances are extremely low maintenance, like vent-free gas inserts. Others should be cleaned of ashes and soot, as well as require routine chimney sweeps and inspections regularly. The energy cost is also a deciding factor. Wood should be bought or chopped. Gas is purchased from an energy company. If the price of gas is exceptionally high, and you have readily accessibly trees and a chainsaw, wood may be the best option for your home right now, but if you live in an urban area and simply want the ambiance of a fire, gas would be for you. Finally, efficiency affects overall price as well. Gas appliances tend to be more efficient than wood. Keeping up with chimney maintenance also raises efficiency of your appliances. You may spend more upon purchase and installation, and save over the life of the furnace.
If your home is a rustic cabin, you probably wouldn’t want a sleek, stainless-steel-framed gas insert. Likewise, if the goal is high-tech and hands off, you might like a gas insert with a simple switch to turn it on and off. Many of the appliances that Billy Sweet recommends and installs are available in various models to fit with the aesthetics of the home.
Are you dreading winter because you can’t choose which heat appliance you’d like to use? Billy Sweet Chimney Sweeps offers only the industry’s best stoves, fireplaces, and inserts. Our certified chimney sweeps are experienced and trained in installation and maintenance of all of our appliances. Don’t wait until it’s too cold! Call today to discuss your home heating options with a Billy Sweet chimney sweep.