When customers are ready to upgrade their fireplace, they often hear us talk about zone heating. But what exactly is zone heating, and why is it important for you home?
There is one overarching way you and your home are impacted by utilizing zone heating: energy efficiency.
What is Zone Heating
Zone heating is essentially just what it sounds like: a heat source warms a certain zone or area of your home. An upgraded gas fireplaces can keep your living room warm, while the other rooms can stay a bit cooler.
This secondary heat source allows you to stay warm in the room you’re in without heating other empty rooms unnecessarily.
Zone Heating vs. Central Heat
Many people assume that fireplaces aren’t as efficeint as heaters. But that isn’t always the case.
Is a Gas Fireplace More Efficient than a Furnace?
While builder grade fireplaces are not always very efficient, and upgraded, modern gas fireplace can actually help you save on heating costs in the winter. How? By utilizing zone heating, of course!
Running a furnace can cost a homeowner between $1.12 – $1.49 per hour. Using a natural gas fireplace can cost as little as 45 cents per hour. Those dollars add up quickly. If you have a direct vent gas fireplace with intermittent pilot ignition system, you could save an additional $12 on your gas bill each month.
Supplementing Your HVAC with a Gas Fireplace
While we understand that it isn’t necessarily realistic to only use a gas fireplace to heat your home, it is certainly a great secondary heat source for your most frequently used rooms. If your family mostly hangs out in the living room, use your gas fireplace and turn the thermostat down. That way, you’re not wasting energy heating rooms that you’re not even using.
In addition, zone heating with a gas fireplace is a great backup when your home central heater is blowing cold air or stops working alltogether. It affords you time to have your HVAC system fixed without sacrificing warmth.
Best Gas Fireplaces for Zone Heating
Direct-vent fireplaces use a wall-mounted vent or roof vent to exhaust gas. About 70 percent of the heat generated by direct-vent fireplace stays inside the house. You’ll feel the heat from the glass front and the the firebox will heat the air in the room: zone heating at work!
Pellet fireplaces are also a great option if you’re interested in zone heating for your home. These appliances are freestanding or inserts that burn pellets instead of wood logs or gas. You’ll quickly feel the room heat up as the pellets burn.