The Cozy Flame's Blog

What is Zone Heating and How can it Save on Energy Bills?

What is Zone Heating and How Can It Save on Energy Bills - Fairfield New Haven CT - Total Chimney CareKeeping your home warm in the winter is a significant expense for most homeowners. However, because many people are not home all day or do not use every area of their home they feel as if they are throwing their money away to keep their whole home warm all winter.

One alternative solution to using your furnace to heat your whole house is zone heating. Zone heating is an excellent way to help you save on energy ills while still keeping you and your family comfortable and warm all winter long.

What is zone heating?

Zone heating “puts the heat where you need it” by warming only certain rooms or areas of a house at a time. While a traditional furnace cycles on and off throughout the day to heat the entire house, a zone heating system heats a few rooms at a time at selected times. This prevents rooms – like bedrooms – from being warmed when no one is using them. With a zone heating system, for example, you could heat your living or family room during the day before switching to the bedrooms at night, ensuring now unoccupied rooms are being unnecessarily warmed.

Benefits of zone heating

The primary benefit of zone heating is energy savings. When you use your furnace to heat your home, it is impossible to control what specific parts of your home are being heated. Because of this, parts of your home are being heated even when no one is using them; this is the same as throwing money away into the furnace.

Zone heating, on the other hand, lets you control which areas of you home are being heated at what times. This allows you to concentrate on only heating areas of your home when you are using them, allowing you to set the thermostat to a lower overall temperature. This can significantly reduce energy costs, especially during the increased rates that often occur in the winter.

Why use gas for zone heating?

While zone heating can be accomplished with a regular furnace, one of the best ways to heat your home in this way is with the use of a supplemental gas heater. There are a number of reasons why gas is the ideal choice for zone heating.

  • Convenience: Using a gas heating appliance is as easy as flipping a switch. This is much easier than the work and upkeep required when using a wood burning fireplace.
  • Dependability: If your home loses power in bad weather, you will not be left in the cold. During power outages, gas heating appliances will continue to work, keeping your family warm and comfortable until power is restored.
  • Economy: Gas is consistently one of the cheapest fuel sources. Likewise, gas appliances require very little regular maintenance, reducing upkeep fees.
  • Efficiency: Modern gas heaters are extremely efficient. This means that the fuel being burned goes directly to heating your home rather than being lost in the combustion process.

Zone heating is an excellent way to heat your home while also saving your family money. For more information on how a gas heating appliance can be used to create zone heating in your home, contact The Cozy Flame  today!

Maximizing Your Fireplace’s Efficiency

For many of us, our wood burning fireplaces create a comforting ambiance on a cold winter day, but the warmth it provides, unfortunately, is usually more show than substance. The explanation is simple enough. Warm air rises. Because of this scientific fact, the majority of the heat produced by your fire attempts to escape through your chimney rather than staying down in your house. Not only that, this rising hot air creates an updraft in its wake that pulls even more warm air up and out right along with it. If you’re in the market to maximize the heat output of your wood-burning fireplace, we can help!

Relax and enjoy the warmth your fireplace with no worries. Boost your fireplace's performance now.

Relax and enjoy the warmth of your fireplace with no worries. Boost your fireplace’s performance now.

Plan Ahead—Season Your Firewood

An easy first step you can take to increase the performance of your fireplace is to season your firewood before burning it. Non-seasoned (green) firewood burns inefficiently and produces a lot of smoke but little to no real heat. The vast majority of the heat energy produced from burning green wood goes into evaporating the excess moisture in the wood instead of going into heating your home. The excess moisture in the wood also attempts to extinguish the fire the whole time it’s burning. Seems a bit counterproductive, doesn’t it? The seasoning process, on the other hand, provides the wood with ample time for the undesirable moisture to evaporate prior to your ever burning it in your fireplace and burns much more efficiently than its non-seasoned brethren.

More Oxygen = Improved Combustion

Now that you’ve seasoned your firewood and have it neatly arranged in your fireplace, opening your damper—throat-mount, top-sealing, or both—as far as possible will increase the amount of oxygen to your fire. It’s science time: this will improve the combustion and, ultimately, increase the amount of heat produced by your fire. One drawback to this increased combustion, however, is that your firewood will burn faster. This will mean that you have to add seasoned firewood more often to get a continuous flow of heat and will therefore go through more firewood over the course of the heating season.

A Yearly Chimney Inspection and Cleaning is a Must

Having your chimney inspected and cleaned by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep yearly will also make it possible to boost your heating performance, as the cleaning process removes the creosote buildup inside your chimney system that can significantly restrict air flow. Once your fireplace and chimney have been cleaned, you can replace the mesh screen in front of your fireplace with tempered glass doors that you can keep closed while the fire is burning. Keeping the doors closed will increase the temperature of the fire in your fireplace and reduce the amount of warm air that the fire pulls from your living space.

Following the steps mentioned above will give your fireplace the kick-start it needs to provide your home with more heat than it might otherwise produce. Our experienced staff takes pride in the service provided to each and every one of our customers. Take a minute to call and ask one of our staff members what is available for your specific application that will help to maximize its performance. One call is all it takes!

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The Cozy Flame | 116 Research Dr. Suite Q, Milford, Connecticut 06460