U.S. hearth dealers report that some homeowners are installing second-hand, less efficient uncertified stoves as a way to save money. But older, uncertified stoves can cause unhealthy indoor air pollution and can release 15 to 30 grams of smoke per hour, leading to creosote buildup that can cause chimney fires (compared to new EPA-certified stoves that produce only 2 to 5 grams per hour). And, old stove use, combined with improper installation near combustibles and without proper ventilation, may result in a home fire, rendering a home ineligible for insurance coverage.
Those upgrading to an EPA-certified wood stove found wood use cut by a third. But the savings aren't all in the stoves, as today's fireplaces and inserts also offer higher efficiency ratings and cleaner burning technologies. HPBA developed a calculator (www.hpba.org/fuelcalculator) that estimates cost-saving benefits of all hearth products.
Consumers have more options than ever in fuel and product choices. To help navigate the myriad of product and fuel choices, efficiency and cost, HPBA has developed an online resource, Consumer Guide: The Easy and Efficient Way to Heat Your Home (www.hpba.org/HearthConsumerGuide).
Zone heating — using a fireplace, stove or insert to heat those rooms used most — allows the thermostat to be turned down on the central furnace, reducing fuel consumption and providing energy savings of up to 20-40 percent.
HPBA strongly recommends homeowners visit one of the nearly 1,900 member retail hearth product stores across North America when considering the purchase of a new fireplace, stove, insert or log set. Specialty retailers can help homeowners better understand the product differences, placement within a room and the best size that will help heat a home most cost-effectively and provide the installation by a technician certified by the National Fireplace Institute®.