If you’re looking to have restoration work done on your existing chimney, consider overhauling your whole setup. If you’ve had a wood stove, perhaps it’s time to explore converting to a fireplace. On the other hand, if a hearth has been your setup maybe you’d be happier with a wood stove. Here are a few things to consider:
- Heating Efficiency: When it comes to throwing a lot of heat and getting a room (or house) warmed up, fireplaces have nothing on wood stoves. A considerable amount of heat is lost in a fireplace through the chimney. With wood stoves, the fire box itself absorbs and radiates heat, as does the stove pipe. Modern stoves are available with a catalytic combustor, a neat feature that allows wood stoves to heat even more efficiently than they used to. Fireplaces can be had with combustors as well which does make them more efficient. But the most efficient fireplace is still going to struggle when compared to the efficiency of a wood stove.
- Aesthetics: This is where fireplaces really shine. Nothing beats the warm glow of a fireplace lighting a room. The heat and light, the crackle of wood and natural appeal of stone or brick makes for a pleasing experience for all the senses. If the image of friends and family socializing around the lively dance of an open fire appeals, then a fireplace is the way to go.
- Cost: Things get a little complicated with prices of stoves vs. fireplaces. If you already have a fireplace and want to convert to a stove, you simply have to buy a wood stove and have it installed in front of the existing fireplace. Going the other way is usually going to cost more. Prefabricated fireplaces can keep the cost down but there is still a lot of work to be done to prepare a space for a fireplace. Anything custom made is going to drive the cost WAY up. Prices for both wood stoves and fireplaces will vary greatly depending on size and manufacture.
A chimney in need of restoration provides a great opportunity to reevaluate your heating setup. Fireplaces and wood stoves have their advantages. Just because you’ve been using one doesn’t mean you can’t switch to the other. If you’d like to further discuss what would be best for your particular wood burning wants and needs, please contact us today.