Your fireplace is probably one of your favorite aspects of your room. We get it! A fireplace can bring so much character to a room especially when you upgrade the look! It's known that although a fireplace is phenomenal to have, it can be bad for the environment. Were here to help you with some information, ideas, and advice when going green with your fireplace!
Going green with your fireplace is super easily done in most cases. Not only will going green be your contribution to lowering your carbon footprint but, it also will make your fireplace more efficient. Take the journey with us to go green and help save our planet!
You dropped your gas emissions...
Let's go over a few things before we get all down and dirty with the green. Your carbon footprint. *Gasp* No really, it's a thing! Your carbon footprint is loosely defined as the amount of carbon dioxide that is handed out due to the use and consumption of fossil fuels (i.e. coal) by people and things (i.e. fireplace). Now carbon dioxide as we all know is bad news bears and can really impact the world in many different ways.
- Heat: Carbon dioxide creates a tremendous amount of greenhouse gas that traps heat. Because the heat is being trapped, the world's ice caps are melting and is causing our oceans to flood and play with the temperature of the environment as a whole.
- Acid: Another environmental impact of excess carbon dioxide is acid rain. Although this will not burn all your skin off, it does cause damage to items, animals, and the environment over time. Those pesky rust stains on your car? You can thank the acid rain for that.
- Health: Most important of all your health can be affected by the carbon dioxide emitted. This is another aspect that can happen over time. By eating certain items and even drinking a pop, the air outside or even in your home, and lastly the natural environment from volcanoes or when trees are cut down and burned.
It's important to do your research and find more information on how you can change other parts of your lifestyle to lower your carbon footprint. Unfortunately, we don't have eternity to go over all the things. But we can at least help you take a step in the right direction by greening up your fireplace!
Let me stand next to your fire
Ah, the wood-burning fireplace...so warm and cozy. The whole family can enjoy the relaxing crackling of the flames and the warm feel on their toes. Even the furbabies are in love with laying down in front of the fireplace where it's warm. Despite the fact that we all love a wood fireplace, can it hurt the environment?
The short answer is it can. Obviously, we're not going to leave you with that though. You need the juice! Let's squeeze...
Burning wood in a fireplace can do horrible things for the environment as well as for your home and even you! Wood does emit carbon dioxide naturally as wood secretes smoke. Smoke from the wood is what is shoving that carbon dioxide out into the world not really the wood itself. Regrettably, we cannot stop this process from happening since it's kind of impossible to yell at the smoke to stop it. There are ways around it though.
Wood burning responsibly can make a HUGE impact on taking a step toward going green. This means reducing the pollution your fire spits out. Positive burning practices like not burning wet wood is a good start. Wet wood throws out way more smoke than a good seasoned dry piece of wood. By burning wet wood not only are you risking your own health at home but spreading the pollution through the air. Taking the proper steps to burn wood properly and efficiently makes a great difference.
Deforestation. Dun Dun Dun. This is a scary topic and you're probably thinking how burning your little bit of wood can cause this to happen. I'll explain. The wood you purchase is cut and taken from somewhere in the world. Harvesting trees in mass amounts to provide firewood or other needs for the wood is devastating to the wildlife and the ecosystem of that area. Trees take a while to grow back to former glory when cut down. Plus the wildlife takes a pretty nasty hit when their habitat stops providing their basic needs to survive. I don't want to scare you into throwing in your fireplace towel. But doing your research on who you purchase wood from can make an impact on this aspect. There is a healthy way to cut trees for needed objects and also reforestation, by planting new trees when others are taken. So take some time to look into who you purchase your wood from and how they harvest. This could help lead you into going green!
Lastly, believe it or not, but wood burning is not as heat efficient as you may think. As your fireplace needs oxygen to keep your fire lit, quite a bit of heat escapes up your chimney and doesn't even make it into your room. There are alternatives or even accessories you can buy for your wood fireplace to help with the heat efficiency. The alternative to your wood fireplace is converting the fireplace to a gas one. Gas logs look super realistic and can really help your going green initiative. It's not as expensive as you might think but you will need a professional to help you install the gas. Gas burns cleaner than wood and doesn't emit as much smoke (i.e. pollution) into your room or the world. Accessories that can help are gas log lighters, log grates, fireplace doors, and even a draft blocker. You can also change the type of wood you burn and the amount of wood you burn.
As mentioned above, converting to a gas fireplace from a wood-burning fireplace can do wonders for your home and the environment. There are definitely some awesome pros to having a gas fireplace over a wood fireplace. I'll even show you a handy little pro-con chart to go over this for the lazy reader. Hey, we're all busy so it's completely ok. We're going to get down and dirty with this one though as there are a lot of awesome perks to converting!
Most gas fireplaces have different options on how to make the gas. You have natural gas or propane option or gas logs or rocks. These choices are a personal preference for what is more accommodating to you as well as your pocket. As always converting your fireplace should be done by a professional as gas lines will need to be installed. This is your first step to conversion. Then you get to go down the line and check off those boxes. The great news is that once you have that step down the rest is all downhill from there.
Gas logs are nifty little things that look super real. You have the option of vented or ventless. You can find how to install a gas log here. There is a lot to consider for the different options of a gas log and I suggest reading our blog to make a better decision. Click here to read up on what and how to choose. You have the option of gas rocks as well to go for a more contemporary style. Either choice will give you multiple options to make your fireplace more energy efficient, less pollution, and less energy usage.
We're always looking to find ways to make our expenses easier to handle. Going green with a gas fireplace is another step you can take to lessen your pocket costs. Gas fireplaces are super easy to maintain and are generally inexpensive to use as you control the output of fire and heat. This also makes the gas fireplace 86% more energy efficient than your wood fireplace!
We want to give you a visual for the pros and cons of having a gas fireplace compared to having a wood fireplace. Look below for our funky comparison!
Electric. An amazing invention! We would not be anywhere without it but how does an electric fireplace help you go green? Sit down in your chair right there and I'll tell you how it's done!
Now we have a couple of great blogs that go over electric fireplaces and I'll list them at the end. First, let me enlighten you to the world of an electric fireplace! Electric fireplaces are great for the environment because they don't emit anything and use very little energy. I know surprising since it's electric. But they are also able to be installed anywhere! These fireplaces are a great way to bring a fireplace in that you technically cannot build on or has rules against that sort of thing. They are easy to use, inexpensive, practically maintenance-free, and even 100% heat efficient! Of course, I save the best for last, they move with you wherever you go!
Electric fireplaces can heat your room without any issues with your gas or pesky firewood and will heat your entire room. We understand that everyone wants the real flame but with the electric fireplace, you can help save our planet! The 100% efficiency of these fireplaces means that all the electric input you receive directly turns into heat. You only have to adjust the amount of heat coming from your fireplace.
Of course, there's always that little annoying thing called smoke. Again, smoke is a number one pollutant that a fireplace has and causes carbon dioxide to be emitted into the world and your home. Well with an electric fireplace, you don't have that issue. Similar to a gas fireplace, an electric fireplace does not need an actual fire to produce heat. As the heat is 100% electric, you're not only getting more heat but you are also helping the environment.
*Buzz by these blogs about electric fireplaces!*
A little bit of sawdust in my life
One more green option for you is the pellet stove. A pellet stove is a considerable option if you're not feeling the others we presented you. We get it! If you're taking into account that you have many options to go green then looking at a pellet stove is definitely an alternative to gas or wood. A pellet stove burns compressed sawdust, tree bark, agricultural waste and distributes a heat punch for sure.
Compressed sawdust usage is actually a great way to go green. The pellets used in a pellet stove come from what is leftover from many things like cutting down trees, the leftovers from sawmills, and even what isn't used or just thrown away by farmers. The pellets themselves help clean up the planet by using some of the things that would originally be thrown away or just wasted. Pellets are a great way to help heat your home and save the planet from unnecessary waste.
Pellet fireplaces also burn expertly by being highly heat efficient and producing little to no pollution. A pellet stove can heat an entire room with little pellet usage and very little smoke output. Because of the items used to make the pellets, they are easy to light and easy to maintain the amount used and the amount of heat output you gain. The pellet stove is a for sure perfect alternative to a wood-burning stove as depending on the pellets you choose, you may get the same benefits but without hindering your green status. They are a more natural way to give yourself a nice warm comfy space while doing your part!
Take a look at the wild side!
Going green probably seems crazy expensive and like a ton of work. Realistically there are so many different ways to make these changes! Changing the type of fireplace you have is going to have the largest impact on your carbon footprint reduction adventure. Then again it is totally understandable that you may be in soul-wrenching love with your fireplace that you have. Luckily, you can still make that eco-friendly bang without completely giving up what you already have.
We are on top of the fact that you adore your wood fireplace and although you may want to still go green, you would rather do so in other places. But did you know that there are options to help your wood fireplace be more eco-friendly? Grant me your mind for this mind-blowing information!
Wood fireplaces have a plethora of choices to help lower your carbon footprint. We will start with adding fireplace doors to your fireplace. Now calm down, I know it seems bombastic to add doors and cause more smoke to go outside but hear me out. Fireplace doors are a fantastic way to help regulate your heat efficiency and making your home a safer place for your family. The fireplace doors can not only bring style to your room but they keep in those nasty sparks and embers. This protects little ones, pets, and your surrounding items from being burned.
Heat efficiency is always the most important condition for any fireplace. You want to make sure you are heating your home and not just throwing funds down the drain. Adding fireplace doors to your fireplace can keep the draft to a minimum while keeping air circulating. They also seal your fireplace when it's not in use and keep that vexing draft out of your home. This also will up your heat efficiency when the fireplace is not in use as the draft will not cool the rooms down in your home. The fireplace doors even help you in the warm months when you clearly do not need your fireplace. The doors when left open during warm months will cool the room by keeping air circulation from outside. This could reduce the amount of air conditioning used throughout the summer. Who would have thought that a fireplace can be so versatile?
*5 BIG Reasons You Need Fireplace Doors is an awesome blog on fireplace doors!*
A magnificent bonus of accessories to your fireplace is an item called a catalytic combustor. This boxy item is made to capture the smoke coming from the chimney and convert the smoke to heat instead of escaping into the environment. One of the greenest attachments you can add to your fireplace helps cancel out the smoke pollution and carbon dioxide by capturing the smoke, burn the smoke, then turn it into heat. Not only does this handy item help the environment but it helps make your fireplace way more heat efficient. The catalytic combustor is best used on a wood fireplace as other types of fireplaces (i.e. gas) do not emit as much smoke and the item wouldn't be of much use.
It's not the end of the world as we know it
To conclude our shindig on going green let's do a quick recap. Not every fireplace is bad for the environment. There are some that are more eco-friendly than others and there are some that can be made to be more eco-friendly. The point that we are trying to get across is that your carbon footprint matters and we want to extend help to you to reduce that. We only have one planet, let's keep Earth happy!
Hopefully, we have enlightened you on options and information to help save our environment or at least become more eco-savvy. It's also a chance to have a ball updating your fireplace or even bringing in brand new one! There are many options out there and we are here to help any way we can! We have some FAQ's below about going green with your fireplace. You can also leave your own question below!
- What is the most environmentally friendly fireplace?
-This is a great question without an easy answer! There are many factors that go into an eco-friendly fireplace along with what preferences or budget you have. Electric fireplaces are going to be the most efficient for heating as well as for the environment as there is little to no impact left from this fireplace. But any fireplace can be upgraded or updated to leave less of a carbon footprint.
- Are fireplaces environmentally friendly?
-There are many fireplaces out there that are better for the environment than others. If you're looking for which ones, I would suggest converting to gas or purchasing an electric fireplace. These two options are the most eco-friendly, heat efficient, and energy-saving options. Be aware that any fireplace can go green with accessories and add ons!
- Are gas fireplaces bad for the environment?
-Gas fireplaces emit little to no smoke into the air lowering the carbon dioxide among others, being released. They also are more heat efficient, inexpensive, low maintenance, and low energy usage. Compared to a wood fireplace, the gas fireplace will be a more eco-friendly choice. But keep in mind you can update your wood fireplace to leave less of a carbon footprint.