Fireplaces and Stoves



While fireplaces may be wonderful for setting a romantic mood, they are highly inefficient devices for heating the home. At best, a typical open-masonry fireplace only delivers about 15% of its heat to the room. The other key problem with traditional, wood-burning fireplaces is that they are now recognized as a major contributor to air pollution.

Today, there are many excellent options for homeowners who wish to both heat their homes more efficiently while reducing substantially the harmful effects on our air quality.

A fireplace insert is a heating appliance that is installed into an existing brick fireplace. It consists of a steel chamber with glass door in front and surrounding vents. Its primary purpose is to greatly increase heating efficiency. Typically, cold air is drawn in by a blower fan through vents at the bottom, circulates around the main chamber, heats up, and exits through vents at the top. Fireplace inserts may be designed to burn wood, wood pellets or natural gas.

Modern, airtight stoves are freestanding appliances that come in all shapes and sizes and can be used for indoor and outdoor installations.  They burn much more efficiently and cleanly than traditional wood stoves. In addition to traditional firewood, there are designs that use wood pellets, natural gas and electricity for fuel.

Click Here for information about the pros and cons of the different fuels - firewood, wood pellets, natural gas or electricity.

Click Here for information about Pellet Stoves.

Click Here  to visit Bay Area Air Quality Management District website.

Click Here for SF Chronicle article about Bay Area Air Quality.


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