Which Types of Fireplaces Are the Most Eco-Friendly?
There’s nothing like curling up in front of a fireplace when the weather turns cold. The heat provided by a fireplace can melt away even the deepest chill. While owning a fireplace certainly has its benefits, you want to ensure that you’re not harming the environment in the midst of gaining some personal comfort. Here are a few fireplaces that can keep you warm while helping to keep the earth cool.
Though a traditional wood fireplace is, perhaps, one of the most polluting of all fireplaces, a high-efficiency wood fireplace can be among the most efficient. Efficient wood-burning fireplaces allow for a hotter flame, which results in more complete combustion. This complete combustion releases less smoke and particulates into the atmosphere, making for an eco-friendly compromise. Plus, as long as you use dead wood that has already been seasoned, you are actually remaining carbon neutral, as the carbon trapped in dead wood would have been released through decomposition, anyway.
If the idea of splitting and storing wood isn’t your idea of a good time, a gas fireplace may be the best choice for you. Gas fireplaces are eco-friendly as the combustion of gas results in very low production of particulate matter. You can even select a ventless model, which actually burns hotter and more efficient than a vented model, resulting in an even more eco-friendly option.
If natural gas production methods give you pause when considering a natural gas fireplace, a bio-ethanol fireplace may be a great alternative. While they don’t put out as much heat as a gas or wood fireplace, bio-ethanol fireplaces still provide a beautiful and peaceful flame, while providing enough heat to warm up a smaller space. Plus, bio-ethanol is primarily derived from agricultural sources, such as corn, resulting in a product that is potentially less harmful to the environment.
If you’re concerned about the safety of having an open flame in your home, an electric fireplace can make for a great option. Modern electric fireplaces shouldn’t be confused with the red lightbulb, fake-crackling noise models of the past. New electric fireplaces continue to make advances in recreating the look of natural flame. In addition, many electric fireplaces can serve as a source of heat, allowing for an eco-friendly heating option, especially if you obtain your electricity from a renewable resource.
Style and Function
Of course, in some cases, the most important factor in determining the best type of fireplace for your home will be its style or function, rather than its fuel source. At the same time, understanding the eco-friendly options that are available can help you make the best decision to help support your green lifestyle.