It may not seem like the best time to think about a fireplace Toronto upgrade given everything going on, from unstable household incomes to the rising cost of living, but it is. A better fireplace can reduce utility bills significantly, cement your eligibility for tax benefits and special grants, and guarantee a stable surrounding. Those factors highlight the importance of eco-friendly fireplaces in Canada and are good reasons to consider making the change sooner.
Is a gas or wood fireplace better for the environment?
The positive environmental impact of fireplaces is unbelievable when you have a wood-burning unit. You may think the only way to experience eco-friendliness is by giving up the crackling sounds and coziness you enjoy from a wooden fireplace, but that is not the case. You can still go green with a wood-burning appliance, choosing the most suitable option for your lifestyle and heating needs from the numerous variations available. The availability of various gas fireplaces widens your options, making it easier to select one that will save you more money while keeping your surrounding safer.
Are fireplaces bad for the environment? Below, we provide more information to answer this question. You can consider all the favourable elements of the fireplaces and compare them against each unit type to make an informed decision. Remember, any eco-friendly fireplace you select can bring substantial savings.
Different Types of Fireplace Fuels and Their Impact on the Environment
The environmental impact of different fireplace fuels should be one of the top considerations when looking for a new unit, cost-savings and comfort being the other two. Numerous fireplace options are available, but choosing one can also be confusing without the involvement of an expert. The Fireplace Store has many products you can compare, including those listed below, when you need a dependable and certified appliance.
We can help you pair your unique needs with the best fireplace, but you can also research before you begin searching. That includes matching your preferences with an ideal fireplace and comparing the home size, comfort levels, humidity, and visual appeal. All these factors contribute to the efficiency of a unit and determine the amount of energy the fireplace uses and how effective it becomes in heating the home. The elements also determine the pros and cons of fireplace fuels, allowing you to evaluate the environment-friendliness of heating appliances to invest in the most suitable one for your home.
Is gas or wood fireplace better for the environment? That is a common question when comparing gas and wood-burning fireplaces, and the answer is yes. However, gas-heating appliances are not entirely efficient or safe for the environment compared to other fireplace types. As a fossil fuel, natural gas excavation is done through fracking, which impacts the environment negatively indirectly, is non-renewable, and potentially dangerous to health. You may need a carbon monoxide alarm when using the fireplaces, which adds to the installation cost. Positioning options may be limited because the unit must be close enough to the gas line. The fireplaces are only 65% efficient, meaning most of the heat goes to waste.
Some advantages of gas fireplaces include convenience and zone heating. They are easily controllable and can work without central heating. They enhance visual attraction and do not require a lot of maintenance.
Wood-burning fireplaces were the least suitable for the environment previously. Inventions in the fireplace industry have changed that narrative by introducing advanced units that are safer and more efficient. You can continue to enjoy everything associated with traditional wood-burning fireplaces, from captivating embers and crackles, to the natural smell of wood-burning fires, and not worry about the environmental impact of wood-burning fireplaces.
Some factors to consider with the units include the sustainability of wood, possible local sources, and availability of certified heating appliances with higher efficiency. Logging industries now plant more trees than they cut as a requirement, and sourcing locally means a lower carbon footprint than shipping. So, are wood fireplaces bad for the environment? EPA-approved heating units are best but more expensive – thanks to the advanced combustion systems. The availability of multiple options makes them better.
Pellet fireplaces rely on biomass pellets to produce heat, a feature that separates them from traditional fireplaces. The environment-friendly and innovative appliances consist of plate steel and cast iron design and the ability to heat an entire house.
Pros and cons of pellet fireplaces
They have higher efficiency, from at least 75%, with low emissions. The pellets are made from byproducts of wood like sawdust, meaning they reduce the amount of waste in a landfill. They are fully compacted, enabling them to produce intense fires that can burn for up to 36 hours. The heating appliances leave a minimal carbon footprint, are non-toxic, have an infinite shelf life, and do not provide a thriving ground for mice or fungi. The pellets leave minimal ash after burning, increasing the consistency and convenience of the appliances. Versatility in venting is another advantage allowing users to use horizontal or vertical placements.
The inaccessibility of pellets is their main con. However, EPA-certified units are also more reliable and produce cleaner air, which makes them perfect for residential use.
The environmental impact of pellet fireplaces is never detrimental, the same as their use. However, consider the unit size, the capacity of the hopper, and the rate at which the hopper feeds pellets when you turn on the fire. All these determine the convenience level.
Electric heating units may be highly efficient at producing heat, but that does not mean they perform well in heat transfer. You may need another heating source to keep your rooms cozy enough. Despite that, electric fireplaces add a unique character to every room and can fit into an existing fireplace area. They are recyclable, suitable for interior and exterior use, and do not produce toxic greenhouse gases. As the most energy-efficient fireplaces, they do not cause too much negative impact on the environment – zero direct impact and minimal to no indirect impact. Ease of availability also makes them more reliable than other fuel types, and versatile placement eases the installation process – you can put them anywhere in the house, but be ready to feel the heat within a 400 sq. ft. area. Having the appliance can reduce your electricity cost by up to 40%.
The environmental impact of electric fireplaces is another reason homeowners choose them. They do not have emissions or burn fossil fuels. There may be an indirect impact on the environment during the manufacturing of fireplaces, but that is not usually a problem because most manufacturers choose sustainable solutions. Another possible downside is the lack of value addition. Electric fireplaces increase comfort levels but do not add value like traditional units. You need an expert to assemble the heating unit and connect it to a 120v outlet minimum.
With all the upsides and downsides, you can select an electric fireplace that suits your needs the most. Even when compared with other fireplaces, the electrical options are a better option.
How to Choose the Best Fireplace for the Environment
It is no secret that fireplaces provide a center of attraction that makes family gatherings better and cozier. However, the joy of having one can turn into despair when you buy an unsuitable unit. That is why highlighting the importance of eco-friendly fireplaces is critical. The existence of numerous models means you no longer have to rely on traditional masonry units with their inefficiency and unsuitability for the environment – you can pick any design depending on your needs and preferences.
How can I make my fireplace eco-friendly?
One of the top factors to consider when figuring out how to choose the right fireplace is eco-friendliness. Environment-friendly heating units produce less pollution than conventional fireplaces, but you should still know the correct factors to check. The good news is that you can choose a freestanding fireplace or have one that fits with an existing hearth.
Some factors to consider when choosing an eco-friendly fireplace include fuel type, usage, weather extremities, and maintenance. Establish whether you want a fireplace for heating the house during winter or for visual appeal and minimal use.
Best Fireplace for the Environment in Canada
- Pellet stoves– Pellets are made from sawdust, agricultural products, or other organic materials, hence renewable energy sources. They are more efficient with a high combustion rate and do not pollute the surrounding, making them the cleanest fireplaces.
- Bio-ethanol fireplaces– Ethanol units use alcohol from agricultural products like corn. Installation can happen anywhere but may not produce sufficient heat for bigger spaces.
- Gas logs fireplaces– The heaters are a perfect option for wood, but they use natural gas or liquid propane. They burn fossil fuels and have low carbon footprint emissions. Liquid propane costs more than natural gas fireplaces, produces more heat, and has more carbon. The units have versatile venting options and control possibilities.
You can choose gas stoves if you want standalone units that use the same fuel sources. The stoves emit minimal emissions, can work in any part of the house and are cleaner than wood.
- Fire logs– Fire log heaters are better than gas logs and traditional wood because the fuel comes from renewable components like wax. They emit less carbon.
Current wood heaters have new technology that makes them more efficient. The reliance on dead trees and the absence of carbon emissions make them more eco-friendly and translate to better air quality during combustion.
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