If you are shopping around for a new fireplace insert or heating stoves, there are a lot of considerations. While it can be tempting to go for looks alone, perhaps the most important consideration is selecting a fireplace insert or heating stove that is the right size for your home, or for the area in your home that you are trying to heat. Selecting the wrong-sized fireplace can result in difficulty controlling your home’s temperature and in inefficient fires. Two of the major considerations when exploring fireplace size are heating capacity and burn time.
If you’re shopping around for a fireplace insert; gas, electric or pellet fireplace; or heating stove, you’ll hear a lot of talk about BTUs. BTUs, or British Thermal Units, are the industry standard for understanding and comparing the heating capacity of fireplaces, fireplace inserts and heating stoves. BTUs indicate a fireplace’s or stove’s heating capacity when the fire inside is burning in the ideal conditions. The higher the BTUs of a fireplace, the higher the heating potential of that fireplace.
BTU recommendations usually are based on the size of the home or space you want the fireplace or heating stove to warm. However, there are other considerations, including the home’s age, the insulation level of that home, your climate and geographic location, and even the quality of the windows within the home. The fuel type of the appliance, whether it’s gas, electric, pellet or wood, also will help determine the right heating capacity for your fireplace, fireplace insert or heating stove. The best way to determine the right heating capacity for your new appliance is to consult with a hearth industry professional who will consider your home and your heating needs.
It is important to get the right heating capacity for your home’s heating appliance because that can greatly affect the burn time for your appliance. A heating appliance that is too small for a space will be constantly loaded with wood that will be encouraged to burn quickly, resulting in inefficiency. That means that if your heating appliance is too small, you will run through a lot of fuel quickly trying to get the desired heating capacity from your fireplace, fireplace insert or heating stove. Conversely, when a heating stove is too large for a space, a fire that is smaller than what is intended for the fireplace or stove will be burned, resulting in a cooler fire with a higher output of pollution.
Burn time also can be affected by other factors. The moisture content of the wood or the type of wood being burned will affect the burn time of any given fire. The size of the stove also will affect how long one load of wood or pellets will burn and efficiently heat the room. Again, your hearth professional should be able to help you determine the burn time for different heating appliances.
If you’re in the market for a heating stove or fireplace, call or visit the experts at Tri County Hearth & Patio Center. We can answer all of your questions about heating capacity and burn time to help you choose the right heating appliance for your home.