As cooler weather approaches, it’s a good idea to consider the pros and cons of different ways to heat your home. Get advice from professionals who specialize in providing heating services in Waterloo. Know the difference between fireplaces and furnaces so you can heat your home as efficiently as possible.
Fireplace vs Furnaces Explained
Fireplaces and furnaces are both common for residential heating purposes. Some homeowners like the warm glow of an active fire, while others prefer the efficiency of electric heating.
A fireplace sits under a chimney within a hearth and burns wood or gas. Fireplaces have been around for a long time, and are very good at heating the room they’re in. They require attention, maintenance, and tools such as pokers, grates, brushes, pans, tongs, screens, and storage racks. They work in tandem with a flue inside a chimney which must be opened before the fire starts, and closed when it is out.
A furnace is a heating appliance that operates on electricity or gas and efficiently distributes warm air through vents in your home. Furnaces are usually located in the basement or a central utility closet inside the home. They require maintenance and upkeep but do not require raw materials, chimneys, or flues.
Furnaces are safer than fireplaces since they do not require an open flame, raw materials, or produce sparks. If a chimney is not regularly cleaned, it can catch fire easily. There is a risk that furnaces could catch fire due to bad wiring or gas leaks, but this risk is low. A commercial heating service can come and inspect your furnace for any leaks or malfunctions.
Fireplaces also produce smoke, ash, soot, and creosote that can create breathing hazards. Animals and pets may be at risk for asthma, allergies, and lung conditions. Fireplaces have to follow air quality regulations and are susceptible to carbon audits. Furnaces rarely produce any odours or exhaust.
An electric fireplace is much easier to install than an electric furnace. Electric fireplaces do not require a chimney and only need a flat wall to house their inserts. Furnaces always require the services of a licensed professional. Permits will have to be pulled, wires and gas will be assessed, and the building will need to be inspected for safety and feasibility.
Installation costs for a furnace compared to a fireplace can range depending on your home. The ongoing costs, however, tell a different story. Cost factors depend on how cold it is, how much you use your heating system, the price of fuel and wood, and the overall heat loss or efficiency.
Wood-burning fireplaces are extremely inefficient, losing about 90% of their heat through the chimney. They are only good at heating one room. Then you must pay to heat the rest of the house somehow.
For furnaces, gas is almost always cheaper than electricity. Electric furnaces tend to cost more because they are tied to the market fluctuations of the power grid. That being said, you are able to customize the output of your electric furnace with a thermostat and smart technology, which can save you money.
The average lifespan of a fireplace is about 30 years, while a furnace will last about 20 years. All heating systems should be inspected annually to make sure they are in good condition for the long haul.
Rely on CJ Brubacher for Heating Services in Waterloo
We have been in business for almost 100 years, offering high-quality furnace repair, maintenance, and installation at affordable prices. Our A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau speaks to how satisfied our customers are. Request an estimate today.