Do Wood Burning Fireplaces Really Save Money?

Maybe you’re house hunting and want to know what features to look for in a home.

Or maybe you are evaluating what you want to incorporate or remove from a renovation.

Either way, you may have considered a wood burning fireplace as a way to save money. Many municipalities still allow these fireplaces in homes (especially if they are older homes), and it may seem like a viable money saving option.

However, there are some costs associated with wood burning fireplaces, so let’s take a look at the costs associated:

1. Maintenance and Upkeep: Wood burning fireplaces take a certain amount of maintenance and upkeep. There is a cost associated with the maintenance that may offset the savings. For instance, the cost of sweeping the chimney, repairs, and cleaning costs. Plus, the cost of wood can make a wood burning fireplace just as expensive as using a furnace.

2. The Insurance Rates: While wood burning fireplaces can reduce the heating bill for a family (especially if it’s newer), one cost associated with having one is insurance. Insurance rates can go up substantially with a wood burning fireplace because there is more liability with one. For instance, there is more risk of a fire in the home with a fireplace, as opposed to gas heat.

3. Wood: There is one final cost associated with wood burning fireplaces that can cut into the savings: wood. Unless you can find wood for free, you have to buy it, usually by the chord which can cost a substantial amount for a one-time fee. Depending on how expensive gas or electricity is where you live, this might eat into your savings.

These are all things that you should be aware of when you are evaluating whether you want to get a wood burning fireplace in your reno or new home.

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