Transport yourself here: It’s mid-January, 15 degrees outside and the wind is howling against your windows making an ominous, whistling sound. To warm up, you make a trip to the woodpile and proceed to make a big fire in your open, wood burning fireplace. The crackling sound of burning wood is comforting, and it feels good to be using wood to heat your house. But you start to wonder … why is the furnace still running so much? You’ve heard rumblings that open-burning wood fireplaces can be inefficient, but what does that really mean?
It’s really quite simple. Most masonry built, open-burning wood fireplaces like the one in this picture are dreadfully inefficient. Open wood fireplaces are not sealed systems, so they suck considerable amounts of heated air right up and out the chimney (as much as 24,000 cubic feet per hour, according to the U.S. Department of Energy). All the while, cold air is being drawn into your home through the doors and windows. You see, it’s just not possible to get heat benefits with this type of fireplace – unless, of course, you upgrade it with a high-efficiency fireplace insert from Quadra-Fire.
Inserts greatly enhance the performance and heating capabilities of open, wood burning fireplaces. As the name suggests, a fireplace insert is “inserted” directly into your existing fireplace, making it highly efficient. Inserts are sealed combustion systems that are vented directly up your existing chimney, and are available in three fuel types:
With a wood insert, you will still enjoy burning cordwood, but much more efficiently! EPA-certified Quadra-Fire wood inserts can be up to 79% efficient and are kind to the environment, expelling minimal pollutants outside. Some units can burn and heat for more than 10 hours on a single load of quality wood, saving money while you make less trips to the woodpile. And because they burn so completely, you’ll have minimal ash to clean up. Technologies like Quadra-Fire’s Four-Point Quad-Burn System and Automatic Combustion Control boost performance considerably.
If you are serious about heat and want to reduce your heating bill, consider a pellet insert – a great choice if you’re tired of the price volatility of fuel oil or propane. Pellet inserts burn pellets made from byproducts like sawdust and wood chips, and Quadra-Fire units have programmable thermostats that adjust heat output to your liking. They can be up to 81% efficient with built-in technologies like Advanced Energy™.
If you want ultimate convenience, consider a Quadra-Fire gas insert that burns either natural gas or liquid propane. Lighting a fire is as easy as pressing a remote control, or flipping a wall switch – and there’s no ash to clean up. Quadra-Fire Direct Vent gas inserts have sealed combustion system that expel 100% of exhaust outside the home, keeping your indoor air safe and clean. They are up to 85% efficient with technologies like IntelliFire™ and FireBrick™ that boost efficiencies and heat output even more.
We all know that 15 degree day in January is coming, so consider upgrading your open wood-burning fireplace with a Quadra-Fire insert soon. It will heat your home more efficiently and look fabulous, so you can do more of this!
[quadrafire.com. (2015, December 7). Lower Your Heating Bill in 2016 [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.quadrafire.com/Shopping-Tools/Blog/Lower-Your-Heating-Bill-in-2016.aspx]