What Is Zone Heating? How Can It Save Me Money?

by | Jul 7, 2022 | Zone Heating

Looking to lower your monthly energy bills? Turning off lights, unplugging chargers, and trying to cut down on washer, dryer, and dishwasher use can definitely all help… but the main culprit of high household utility bills? Home heating. In fact, in the United States, more than 40% of the energy consumed in most homes is for heating.

Now, cold winter days may not be on your mind just yet, but come fall you’ll be wanting to seek every option for lowering your heating costs. Fortunately for folks in the Triangle area, we’re here to talk about something that can make an even bigger impact on your bills than switching off your light switches – zone heating. 

Zone Heating Explained

Zone heating is a way of centralizing your heating system, so that it heats various areas of your home separately. Essentially, it can be used to reduce utility bills by only heating the rooms that are used regularly – as opposed to the entire house. For example, if you stay in the living room all day, you can turn on the heat in there while keeping the rest of your home cooler. By doing this, you can easily regulate your energy usage.

How Much Can You Save With Zone Heating?

Zone heating is an economical way to maximize home comfort without wasting money or energy. By heating with a fireplace, insert, or stove, you only make that particular room (where the fireplace is installed) warmer. This means turning off the heating system in areas where no one occupies it, saving you significant dollars over the course of a winter.

Long story short? Heating your entire home simultaneously is the quickest way to watch your electric bill skyrocket. It can cost you well over $2,000 a year. However, these costs can fairly easily be avoided when zone heating is employed.

Can Zone Heating Be Done With a Fireplace?

What is Zone Heating? - Raleigh NC - Durham NC - Mr. Smokestack Chimney bedroomCan you apply zone heating when you have a fireplace? Absolutely. Thanks to industry-leading products and technology, a fireplace can be installed virtually in any room.

For decades, wood and gas have been the most widely used heat sources in homes. Today, with heating costs rising at a steady pace, zone heating with a gas or wood burning appliance is becoming increasingly popular. This will effectively allow you to reduce the demand for heating from your central heating system. 

Having said that, if you already have an existing fireplace, you can plan around what you already have, potentially adding different types of units to various rooms. If you prefer the ambiance of a wood fireplace, you can have one in the living room for everyone to enjoy, then install an electric or gas unit in the bedrooms. 

It’s all about finding which options are best for your schedule, budget, home, and overall set-up.

Tips For Zone Heating With a Fireplace

Here are some expert tips to consider when zone heating with a fireplace:

  1. Discuss your options with a professional. The company that installs your appliance should be well versed in zone heating and the options that are available. They should be certified by either the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) or by the National Fireplace Institute (NFI).
  2. Pick the right fireplace. There are several questions you will have to figure out for yourself such as: Do you enjoy wood burning and the tasks that come along with it (For some, it’s a labor of love!)? Would you like to just flip a switch and not have to tend a fire? Do you need something with flexible placement options? We will help you navigate the various fuel types and designs, as well as pinpoint the most ideal locations for the fireplace in your home. The goal is to provide an enjoyable experience, while significantly reducing your home heating costs. 
  3. Regularly schedule sweepings and inspections. Once you have the zone heating appliance installed (or if you already have one), you will need to keep the system serviced just as you would your central HVAC system. An annual inspection is recommended by all manufacturers to keep your fireplace operating properly and to reduce the possibility of a chimney fire or other hazards.  

Feel Warmer & More Comfortable for Less

For many homeowners, a big goal during the colder months is to keep the whole household warm and cozy, while keeping heating bills at a reasonable rate. Unfortunately, this can be easier said than done, but we hope the facts we supplied above can help you achieve it.

Seeking more information about zone heating with a fireplace? Mr. Smokestack can help. Call 919-747-1859 or reach out online today.

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