Wood Stove vs. Fireplace: Which One is Better for Your Home?
There are many factors that go into deciding which fire appliance is right for your home. Read on to discover the choice that is best for your home.
Wood Stove vs. Fireplace: Safety
Safety always needs to be a top priority when deciding on a product that produces fire in your home. While fireplaces are typically open-flame and nice to look at, wood stoves are actually much safer, as they have glass doors that prevent any sparks from wandering out onto nearby objects or people. Since we use wood stoves in Canada for many months of the year, it's important to also consider how much creosote is building up in your chimney throughout those cold months. It can be difficult to get up onto your roof in the middle of the Canadian winter to clean out the chimney. Wood stoves offer a closed combustion system and therefore produce less creosote buildup and burn it up more fully. While you need to be cautious with children and pets around both a fireplace or a wood stove, it isn't as likely that they could be hurt by a stray ember from a wood stove due to the closed doors.
Wood Stove vs. Fireplace: Efficiency
Now that we're heading into Autumn, we'll all be switching our air conditioning to heating soon and using more electricity as the sun sets earlier. But can you actually save more money using a wood-burning fireplace or a wood stove? Surprisingly, wood-burning fireplaces have a heat efficiency of only 10%, as most of the heat escapes through the chimney! On the other hand, high-efficiency wood stoves can provide 3 times the amount of heat as a fireplace, while only using of the wood. Wow!
Now, if you already have a fireplace, you may be thinking, "can I just put a wood stove in my fireplace and use the same chimney?" The answer is maybe, but there are a lot of considerations you would need to take into account before attempting the conversion. You need to consider whether the fireplace is large enough to accommodate the space a wood stove needs, and also whether the chimney is suitable - the right size, straight into the ceiling instead of curved, and whether it needs special lining. In short, it's typically easier to have your wood stove separated from the fireplace if you already have a fireplace in your home.
Wood Stove vs. Fireplace: Eco-Friendliness
Since burning wood is carbon-neutral, you can't go wrong with a wood-burning stove made in Canada. Due to its closed combustion system, wood stoves produce very few harmful emissions... which means, not only do you get to save on your heating bills, but you're also helping the environment more when buying a wood stove!