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Americool Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Can a Fireplace Heat an Entire Home?

Family Relaxing Indoors And Stroking Pet Dog

This is an interesting concept. As heating costs rise and income levels stay stagnant, homeowners are looking for new ways to escape their unusually high utility bills and still enjoy peace and comfort each winter. So, can all of this be achieved with a fireplace?

Well, the answer is it depends. Fireplaces have come a long way in recent years, and some even have the sole purpose of heating as much space as possible, while others are mostly for the aesthetic feeling of having a wood fire in your home. In truth, we’ll need to go into detail about fireplaces and heating in general to give you proper advice.

You can trust our team as your local fireplace contractor in Centralia, WA if you’re looking for uncommon or unconventional ways to keep your home warm and cozy. Our opinions are backed by science and experience, so you know you’re in good hands!

The Type of Fireplace

Winters get cold here, so it makes sense that customers might opt into using a fireplace to keep things warm instead of a conventional furnace or heat pump. After all, your home might already be built with a fireplace, or it might be one that uses wood which is plentiful on your property.

The issue is that wood burning fireplaces are not very efficient. Only around 40% of the wood gets turned into heat when it’s burned, and the rest is smoke, fumes, water vapors, and other things that get sent through the chimney. While a wood fireplace gives you the warm, fuzzy feeling of a cozy winter night, it doesn’t do a very good job of heating more than a few hundred square feet.

Gas fireplaces, on the other hand, are exceptionally good at producing heat and some of them are designed to keep your entire home warm.

The Size of the Fireplace

If you’re really looking to tell if your fireplace can heat your whole home, you’ll need to start with the square footage. In general, it’s just a good idea to know the square footage of your home so that you can use it for sizing appliances and other things. With a fireplace, this is a must.

Basic or small gas fireplaces can heat around 500 square feet or less. This is not very impressive and that’s only the size of one room in your home. A medium gas fireplace can heat more, 500-1000 sq. ft. which is getting to be about half the size of a conventional home.

Now here’s the good news, if your gas fireplace is large and even has a heat dispersal system like a blower fan, it can heat 1,000-2,200 sq. ft. or even more depending on how big it actually is. This is enough space to heat most homes. If you’ve got a smaller home, this might be plenty of heat!

When to Opt for Conventional Heating

Overall, if you’ve got a wood burning fireplace or a little gas or pellet stove that’s just for aesthetics, then you’ll still need a conventional heating system like a furnace to stay warm. But if you’ve got a large enough fireplace to deal with all the air in your home, you might be able to heat your whole house just from the fireplace!

For a consultation, contact Americool Heating & Air Conditioning. Your comfort is our business.

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