Indoor fireplaces have become more efficient and eco-friendly


Wood, pellet and gas are the three main fuels for inside fireplaces, and with new regulations, two of those options are becoming more efficient for both heat and the environment.

Hugh Morris, co-owner of LUMOS Hearth and Home in Battle Ground, said pellet stoves are one of the better options.

He said pellet stoves are one of the better options.

“Gas has really started to take a back seat due to some of the policies and things that are happening in Washington,” said Morris.

Morris added that electric fireplaces, essentially a nightlight with a space heater, are becoming more popular with new-construction homes.

Morris said 85-90% of what he sells is wood and pellet stoves. With technology advancements, wood and pellet stoves have become very efficient.

Some stoves and inserts can burn up to 40 hours on one load of wood and simultaneously create enough heat for an entire living space, Morris said.

He mentioned recent federal EPA and state-level regulations require wood stoves on the market to meet new standards, which has reduced emissions by 300%, which has been positive for the environment.

“Wood smoke is one of the main sources of air pollution in Washington,” the Washington Department of Ecology states online. “Wood stoves, fireplaces and other wood-burning devices put out hundreds of times more air pollution than other sources of heat, such as natural gas or electricity. A person who uses wood for heat is at greater risk for respiratory illness.”

A more efficient alternative to wood stoves is the pellet stove, Morris said, something he uses in his own home.

“All these pellet stoves operate thermostatically, so I can set my temperature. Many of them I can just program for the week,” Morris said. “I heat my house with a pellet [stove], and that’s probably maybe $400 a year to heat my place. It’s great heat.”

In most cases, pellet stoves can replace existing insert fireplaces, as well.

“[Pellet heating options] have become a big part of our business, and every year it seems like they get bigger,” Morris said. “Like the second half of the burn season from September to March it seems to be bigger with pellet stoves. People get tired of cutting wood.”

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