Have you every heard people talking about 'zone heating'? Well this article will help you understand the concept, why it works, and how you can make your home a more affordable temperature.
The first thing to cover is the idea of zone heating. As the name describes, the concept is to heat a specific area within the home. With this comes a lot of benefits. The home's heat is often turned on (or up) to warm specific areas where people congregate. So about 80% of the time we only need to heat about 20% of the home. With this idea in mind, we look to make heating the home more efficient.
What we want to accomplish is to warm the rooms that we are currently using, so we can remain comfortable without having to crank the thermostat and heat the entire house. We would save the money associated with the extra heating, and especially within older and less insulated homes, would minimize cost per usable heat output. So that's where a fireplace comes into the conversation.
A fireplace (typically gas is superior at heating output) can output up to about 50,000 BTU's. For most houses this can heat a grand room no problem, even on the coldest of nights. The important thing here is to remember that a fireplace is not created to heat the home, but designed to optimize zone heating. So, if we are desiring quick and powerful heat within a room, the right choice is to reach for the fireplace remote rather than the thermostat. This will end up saving you necessary heating costs and let you minimize your home's energy costs.
Although we would love to post exact figures at how much you could save by heating with a fireplace, due to the many variables of a heating, its hard to draw an accurate average. Insulation, location (how cold it gets), wind, and type of house heating would all change the costs. However, we have heard from a recent customer who is rural based, that he is saving several hundred dollars per year with his fireplace and zone heating.