Jumping into the heating world can be an intimidating decision. There are so many buzzwords and TLA’s (three-letter acronyms) that are designed to confuse and mislead. Today we will be discussing two of the most important acronyms, the BTU and the AFUE.
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, and in scientific terms one unit is equivalent to 1055 joules of energy. A BTU is used to describe the amount of heating power available to a fireplace or furnace. A single BTU is the amount of energy needed to increase 1 pound of water’s temperature 1 degree Fahrenheit. BTU’s are a unit of measurement used in heating as well as cooling and many Air Conditioning systems use BTU’s to measure their power. In this case the BTU’s measured are in the amount of heat removed instead of added to a room. The higher a fireplace or furnace BTU output, the more powerful the system is.
What does this all mean for a homeowner? Well now that you know what a BTU is, you can now find out how many BTU’s you will need in order to heat your home to your satisfaction.
Before we go into how many BTU’s you will need to heat your home, we will discuss what AFUE means. AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. AFUE is generally reported as a ratio and is used to determine the thermal efficiency of a heating unit and is usually expressed as a percentage. For example if a fireplace has an AFUE of 90%, and it is listed at 10,000 BTU, the heating output would actually be 9,000 BTU. The loss of 1,000 BTU could be due to exhaust or heat waste. Basically the unit can output at 10,000 but only 9,000 is actually heating your home.
To give you a ballpark figure to shoot for when looking for a fireplace or furnace we have developed this chart:
|Recommended BTU for Square Footage|
|Room Area||Square Feet||Recommended BTU Range|
|10′ x 15′||150 sq. Ft.||up to 5,100|
|10′ x 20′||200 sq. Ft.||6,000|
|15′ x 20′||300 sq. Ft.||7,000|
|17′ x 20′||340 sq. Ft.||8,000|
|18′ x 25′||450 sq. Ft.||10,000|
|22′ x 25′||550 sq. Ft.||12,000|
|25′ x 28′||700 sq. Ft.||14,000|
|25′ x 34′||850 sq. Ft.||16,000|
|25′ x 40′||1,000 sq. Ft.||18,000|
|35′ x 40′||1,400 sq. Ft.||24,000|
|40′ x 40′||1,600 sq. Ft.||32,000|
This is just a starting point on your journey to getting the perfect fireplace or furnace for your dream home. Our talented furnace and fireplace experts will be able to customize your selection by finding out the AFUE of a particular unit in order to make sure that your home is properly heated. Different venting options, chimneys, and accessories are also available to make sure you get the most out of your furnace or fireplace.
Send us a message below and we will set you up with one of our experts!
Deciding to buy a fireplace is a decision that comes with many choices. One choice is purchasing a Contemporary or Traditional Fireplace.
You may have questions such as: what do those terms mean? What is the difference between the two? Is one choice better than the other?
Today we hope to shine a light on these questions and provide you the answer you need to make your fireplace selection.
When thinking of fireplaces, most will remember a crackling fire with burning logs, surrounded by a stone hearth. Many gas fireplaces emulate this design and aesthetic while opting to burn gas rather than wood. Burning gas instead of wood is cleaner, economically efficient, and environmentally friendly when compared to a wood burning fireplace.
These fireplaces are controlled by remote or wall switch, freeing up your time while still providing you with the traditional look of a wood burning fireplace. Multiple options exist for different styles of logs to be placed in the fireplace.
Contemporary fireplaces push the envelope when it comes to design and function. Forgoing the traditional look, many contemporary fireplaces feature modern design features; full metal surround, integration into non typical spaces, panoramic/landscape viewing angles, linear flames, unique materials such as glass beads in multiple colours, and more.
Many contemporary designs can be custom fitted into your home to complement your design choices, acting as a piece of fine art rather than a bulky addition.
The choice between traditional and contemporary can be quite difficult. If you prefer a log set from a traditional fireplace but also enjoy the modern sleek look of a contemporary, you are not left out in the cold!
A combination of traditional and contemporary design is possible. Montigo’s H42DF-ST features a see through view, which allows viewing from two different rooms while still retaining the traditional fireplace logs and stone surround.
In the modern age of fireplaces, customization is king.
Now that you know the differences between traditional and contemporary fireplaces, and how the modern fireplace can seamlessly blend the two, selecting your fireplace shouldn’t be a frightening experience. Contact us today and our fireplace experts will help you select the fireplace which has all of the features you desire.
In the past the fireplace was the centerpiece of a home. A large solid brick fireplace was not uncommon in many homes as a centerpiece but also doubled as a heating tool. With modern technology we can now focus on enhancing the fireplace experience; focusing on style without having to sacrifice performance.
A key characteristic of a brick fireplace is that it heats up much more slowly than a more modern wood or gas burning fireplace. In fact most of the heat would escape through the chimney rather than distribute through the home. Modern venting systems allow for a more efficient heat, while maximizing efficiency.
With a wood or gas fireplace you will be able to quickly heat your home to your satisfaction as well as creating a safer environment for your family as a new modern fireplace will not act as a heat sink like an older brick fireplace.
Wood burning fireplaces offer the dancing yellow flames and orange hot coals that give a room a cozy, warm look and feel.
Wood burning fireplaces need to be cleaned after the fire is out and the fireplace cools down. The fine ash needs to be swept up so that any sudden puffs of air coming down the chimney don’t blow it out into the room.
Chimney fires result from layers of creosote, a natural by-product of burning wood formed by carbon compounds and resins in the wood and water vapor building up in the chimney.
Alternatively, natural gas fireplaces are based on newer heat-efficient technology. They offer many obvious maintenance and installation advantages over wood fireplaces.
First of all, there’s no mess from gathering logs, cutting logs, and storing logs. There’s no mess from ash, coal-raking, soot, or creosote issues to clean up after. You can also install the natural gas fireplace almost anywhere in your house.
Because natural gas fireplaces are designed to burn the gas efficiently, the gasses are cool enough to be vented through PVC pipe run through the walls.
Gas fireplaces radiate heat nicely and some contain fans to circulate the heat efficiently. Plus, natural gas is a cheap fuel —get it directly piped or even a modular propane tank depending on your need! It’s one less thing to worry about especially if the wood fireplace option means you need to buy and haul your own wood.
The deal breaker for many, though, is that even though they may enjoy all the work and woodsman expertise about selecting firewood, the dirty truth is that wood burning fireplaces emit 28 lbs of particulate emissions per MMBtus of heat output (soot and ash) as opposed to natural gas which produces up to 99% less (about .28 lbs/MMBtu). This means that natural gas fireplaces pose less of a risk of in-home air pollution.
Wood burning fireplaces might be cozy and soothing (which we all need at some time in the 21st century) and seem a cheap way to heat, but in the end when you look at them terms of expense and efficiency, they are becoming a luxury few can afford to depend on.
Have questions about fireplaces? Fill out the contact form below and we will answer your questions directly!