Did you know that 23% of Americans prefer to take vacations in the winter? One of the reasons for this is to get a break from bad weather.
That said, the not-so-pleasant outcomes of cold winter temperatures are things like energy bills from heating your house, as well as a higher reliance on energy from your local utility company.
If you’re looking for a green home and a reduction in winter energy bills, then consider installing a new fireplace. You can choose an eco friendly option that will save energy while upgrading your home’s interior.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the best fireplace designs for a green home. Keep reading to discover what kinds of features to look for when you buy a fireplace.
Environmentally Friendly Electric Fireplaces
If you’re looking for an alternative to wood-burning fireplaces, you can consider an electric fireplace. Wood fireplaces contribute to tree reduction and release carbon monoxide.
Electric fireplaces, however, don’t produce any toxic fumes and have zero greenhouse emissions. They don’t require any fuel and all of the energy used to power them is converted to heat.
Even better, electric fireplaces can be used indoors and outdoors, making them a versatile option for any home. They’re inexpensive and come in countless different options. However, they can’t heat your whole house and you may see an increase in your monthly electric bill when using them.
If you’re looking for a fireplace that doesn’t burn fossil fuels and can be recycled when you’re done with it, then an electric fireplace is the way to go. You can search for brands that pay workers fair wages and maintain environmentally-friendly methods of producing and importing/exporting their products.
Ethanol fireplaces might be a foreign concept to most homeowners, but these environmentally friendly fireplaces are ideal for anyone looking to create a green home.
As the name suggests, these fireplaces burn ethanol, a biofuel. Ethanol is also called ethyl alcohol and is commonly derived from corn and sugarcane. Next to electric fireplaces, ethanol fireplaces are the nest best thing.
If you opt for an ethanol fireplace, you’ll find that they’re easy to install if you have an existing wood-burning fireplace.
Many homeowners are set on using traditional wood fireplaces. Although they’re not as eco friendly as their electric and ethanol counterparts, there are ways you can tailor them to a green home.
For starters, look for wood-burning fireplaces that are high efficiency. To reduce the amount of pollution from smoke, you can install fireplace retrofits. As you look for wood appliances, keep an eye on their high-efficiency ratings and whether or not they’re EPA-certified.
If this is the type of fireplace you opt to install, you can reduce its impact on the environment by using locally harvested wood from dead trees.
Pellet stoves are another type of eco friendly fireplace you can use in your home. They rely on pellets that are made from a mixture of compressed tree bark, sawdust, agricultural wastes, and other materials of an organic nature.
If you decide to use a pellet stove for your new fireplace, you’ll be using an item that produces little pollution and has a high heat efficiency.
You can even heat a small home with a pellet stove. They’re commonly made from plate steel and cast iron.
The dry heat produced by a pellet stove is eco friendly and energy efficient. Since their pellets are made from material that would otherwise have been treated as waste, they’re able to reuse existing materials.
Additionally, they produce very little smoke so you only need a small vent pipe approximately 3 to 4 inches in diameter. The vent can be horizontal or vertical.
The same EPA standards are imparted on wood-burning stoves and pellet stoves. Since they have a low moisture content and rely on pellet fuel with consistent quality, they’re easy for the EPA to regulate. They also produce low emissions and are energy efficient.
Pellet stoves stand out among the EPA because they don’t produce creosote. As such, they exceed the required in-home clean air standards for home heating.
Gas fireplaces are a more eco friendly option for your home than a traditional wood-burning fireplace, but they’re at the bottom of the list as they still rely on fossil fuels in the form of liquid propane or natural gas. However, it’s important to note that they have lower emissions than wood-burning fireplaces and produce a hotter temperature than other fireplace options.
Gas fireplaces also offer options for your fuel source if you choose to forego traditional liquid propane or natural gas. You can use gas logs or gas rocks. Gas logs look real, and with a gas fireplace, you can have a vented or ventless one installed.
In general, gas fireplaces create less pollution, use less energy, and are a more sustainable option than wood fireplaces when considering the environment.
Best Fireplaces for a Green Home
Now that you know about some fireplace options for a green home, you can start shopping. Electric fireplaces are the most environmentally friendly, but they might cost you more on your electric bill. However, their reduced impact on the environment is well worth the cost.
Dreifuss Fireplaces has everything you need for your new fireplace installation. You can get in touch with us for more information, or start your search by checking out our extensive fireplace gallery!