What is Zone-Heating & Can it Reduce My Bills?

Do you dread winter – not because of the cold, but because of the heating bills? If you have a central heating system in your home, you don’t have to be told how expensive it is to run it all winter long. Zone heating can give you a break on winter utility bills and keep dread at bay.
The idea behind zone heating is to heat the room you spend a lot of time in without heating the whole house in the process. To do this, you’ll need to determine the best heating appliance for your needs.
Standard fireplaces
If a fireplace is the appropriate size and is operating properly, it can meet all your needs for zone heating. Today’s fireplaces are built as a firebox inside a cabinet made of steel. This allows air to circulate and heat the room. You can make a traditional fireplace even more efficient by adding a fireplace insert (see below).
Aside from style, color and finish, your main decision when installing a new fireplace will be whether to have a model that runs on gas or one that burns real wood. Gas fireplaces are clean and convenient, controlled by a switch and a thermostat. Wood fireplaces warm a room and satisfy the tastes of those who like to see real flames in a fireplace.
Wall-mounted fireplaces
To take zone heating to another level, consider a wall-mounted fireplace. These units run on gas and can be installed in rooms where there isn’t enough room for a stove and where constructing a traditional fireplace would be inappropriate. An easy-to-use gas fireplace in a bedroom or bathroom can quickly take the chill out of cold winter mornings or any other time of day.
Both gas and wood stoves are very popular zone-heating appliances. From the pot-belly versions to more modern styles with sharp angles and clean lines, stoves on the market today are designed to match any décor and provide the targeted warmth you’re after.
Stoves are versatile and can be placed in many areas within a home. They’re made of cast iron, steel or stone and are available in multiple sizes and finishes. As with fireplaces, gas stoves are very convenient to operate, but wood stoves are the choice of many homeowners.
Fireplace inserts
If you currently have a traditional masonry fireplace and don’t feel it’s doing its job, consider adding a fireplace insert. Doing so will significantly increase the efficiency of a fireplace. An insert in a wood-burning fireplace will require the same venting system as the fireplace without the insert. No chimney or modification of the flue is necessary with an insert for a gas, propane or electric fireplace.
Zone heating really isn’t hard to accomplish with the many fine home heating appliances available today. In making your decision on how you want to supplement your heating, it may be helpful to speak with a stove and fireplace expert to get some sound tips and ideas.
Marsh’s Stoves & Fireplaces of Toronto carries a full line of top-name heating appliances. Stop by our showroom at 3322 Dundas Street West and have a look. Or give us a call at (416) 762-4582, and let’s talk about the most efficient way to heat your home.