Having a fireplace is a good investment. Aside from heating your home, it can also increase its aesthetic and market value. There is always an added value of sitting beside a fireplace on a chilly winter day while enjoying time with your loved ones. While enjoying a hot coffee or meal, looking at the flickering flame on your fireplace is always a good experience.
There are a lot of things to consider in selecting a fireplace. The first thing you have to think about is what type of fireplace you need: wood-burning, gas, multi-fuel or electric stove fires. There is also a lot of design and choice of materials such as marble, stone, brick or cast iron fireplaces.
The size of your room or house and the fireplace’s output is also essential. To maximize your fireplace, you have to balance between the heat source’s power and the room size you want to heat.
How much heating to you need for your home
The unit of measurement for heat is BTU or British Thermal Unit. In other words, for fireplaces, the higher the BTU means, the higher its heat output. You will find the right fireplace based on its BTU output by knowing your home or room size.
On average, you need 20 BTU to heat a one square feet area. For example, to heat a 100 square feet room, you need a fireplace with a capacity of 2,000 BTU. In a more extensive, 1000 square feet room, you need a fireplace with a 20,000 BTU capacity. In other words, the bigger the room, the more BTU you need to heat the room.
BTU capacities of different types of fireplace
Knowing the different fireplaces types’ BTU capacity is very important to choose the best for your needs. The amount of BTUs of gas, wood or electric fireplace varies widely depending on its size, brand or materials. Generally speaking, a wood-burning fireplace can have a range from 20,000-40,000 BTUs. A gas fireplace can have from 8,000-60,000 BTUs. On the other hand, electric fireplaces can have 4,000-10,000 BTUs.
Although electric fireplaces may seem to have a lower BTU, they are 100% efficient, which means all heat produced to stay in the room. On the other hand, a gas fireplace loses 20-30% of the heat due to the chimney or vent. In other words, when buying a fireplace, you have to make sure it has enough capacity to heat your room or home.
However, there are also other factors you have to consider aside from their BTU output and capacity. The height of the ceiling of the home can significantly impact the heating capacity of your fireplace. Homes that are poorly insulated would also need a higher BTU to heat, while a well-insulated home will require less BTU.
The layout of the rooms and walls would also be a factor and the number of windows. In other words, it’s recommended to have a fireplace that has a slightly higher BTU capacity than what is needed to have a reserve heating capacity, especially during freezing temperatures. However, having a fireplace with too much excess capacity might not be economical.