There is nothing better than curling up with a book and a glass of wine after a long day at work, while a wood-burning fire keeps you warm in the cold winter night. But when it comes to choosing between a traditional fireplace and a wood burning stove, the decision can be tough.
A lot of factors need to be considered while choosing between the two and both, a fireplace and stove have their advantages and drawbacks. But the most important factor you need to consider is; how well does it heat your home? After all you are willingly starting a fire inside your house; might as well get the most out of it.
When it comes to it, the final decision between installing a fireplace or a wood-burning stove is ultimately yours. The source of fuel, wood, is relatively cheap compared to the other sources. So to understand which one of the two is the best option for your home, let’s consider their efficiency, safety and aesthetic appeal.
When it comes down to the efficiency of a fireplace compared to that of a stove, hands down the more efficient option is the wood burning stove. A wood burning fireplace is the least efficient source of heat with a heating efficiency of only 25% whereas wood burning stoves run at almost 80% efficiency. This means that wood burning stoves provide 3x more heat using only 1/3rd of the firewood.
Unlike other sources of energy, wood is carbon-neutral and environment friendly. But when we talk about burning wood; we have to consider the emission of harmful gases, like carbon monoxide (CO), into the room’s atmosphere. CO emissions vary between the two units, but with a wood burning stove there is a lower risk of in-house pollution as the smoke rises up the chimney directly outside.
In the case of an open fireplace, however, the chance of a back draft introducing hazardous gases into the atmosphere increases, unlike a stove where the fire is separated from the rest of the room by a glass door.
The glass door not only provides protection from harmful gases, but also prevents burning embers from jumping out of the fireplace and causing damaging to your home or hurting you or your family. With fireplaces, there are meshes that can prevent sparks from flying out into the room but these are not sufficient to prevent all sparks from escaping.
And finally, the aesthetic appeal. Nothing can beat the aesthetic appeal of a fireplace in your home. The most appealing part (and almost only pro) of installing a fireplace is the possibility of including tiles, brickwork, marble etc. to match the rest of the house which is not possible with a stock wood-burning stove.
But, in the end, the cons of installing a fireplace greatly outweigh the pros and a wood-burning stove makes the most sense.
If you still can’t decide between the two, our experts can help you find the right fit for your home. Choose from our wide range of stoves and fireplaces to find the one most suited for your every need.