Alternative to Wood Burning Stove: What Can I Have Instead of a Fireplace?

FACTS CHECKED BY  Bob Smith

Adding a fireplace is always a good idea whether you live in a modern apartment, condo, or historic home. Also, a fireplace inserts warmth, ambiance, and beauty into our homes. Furthermore, there is a wide variety of environmentally-friendly solutions, including bioethanol fires, gas fireplaces, and even electric fireplaces. These efficient heating systems offer several advantages over traditional wood-burning stoves and can save money. Let’s explore them further in this alternative to wood-burning stove guide. 

Is It Worth Installing a Wood Stove in Your Home?

A wood-burning fireplace in the living room

A wood-burning stove is a popular choice for many individuals who want to make their homes more comfortable. But in practice, it might only be appropriate for some homes. For that reason, reviewing other options is essential, as they may be more suitable than the wood stove.

Pros and Cons of a Wood-Burning Fireplace

Alternative to Wood Burning Stove: Pros of a wood-burning fireplace

  1. A wood-burning fireplace will keep your home persistently warm and create a memorable experience.

Alternative to Wood Burning Stove: Cons of a wood-burning fireplace

You need to stack plenty of firewood with a wood stove. 

It would be best if you stacked plenty of firewood with a wood stove. 

  1. It is expensive, especially if you lack a dependable firewood source. In addition, installing a wood burner from scratch can cost £1000 upward, and the fireplace requires sweeping and servicing at least twice a year.
  2. It requires legal clearance. You might live in a smoke-free zone that does not allow you to use your wood stove.
  3. Wood-burning fireplaces are labor intensive. You have to prepare wood which is both tiring and time-consuming. Also, it would be best if you kept stoking your fireplace, which can disturb your sense of comfort.
  4. Non-friendly to both the environment and your health. According to air specialists, wood stoves increase smoke in cities and towns. In turn, smoke increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and lung disease.

Therefore, considering installing a wood-burning stove, you should acknowledge that its disadvantages outweigh the advantages. The drawbacks are the most considerable installation cost and the unending costs of firewood and maintenance.

Luckily, below are wood-burning stove alternatives that may serve you even better.

Alternative to Wood Burning Stove: Primary Alternatives to a Wood-Burning Stove

Wood-burning stove alternative: Bioethanol

Bio fireplace in a home on bioethanol fuel.

Bio fireplace in a home on bioethanol fuel.

A bioethanol fire is an alternative real-flame heating source that burns bioethanol fuel rather than gas or wood.

Here are the top pros of bioethanol fuel

  1. Simple to set up and use

Installation of bioethanol fires requires little to no skill.

  1. High Heat factor

Also, it provides a considerable quantity of heat, yet the model you choose will determine how much heat you get in a room.

  1. Environmentally friendly

It does not pollute the environment, unlike fossil fuels. Besides, bioethanol is renewable and sustainable.

  1. Low Running costs

Its running cost is low since it has a renewable energy source and adjustable flames, making it easier to control the heat output.

  1. Easy to maintain

Since they don’t produce smoke or soot, you can easily clean them.

Wood-burning stove alternative: Gas Fireplace

A gas fireplace. 

A gas fireplace. 

Modern gas fireplaces don’t produce smoke and release waste gases through ventilation in the wall rather than burning up a chimney.

The other reasons why a gas fireplace is an environmentally friendly alternative to the wood-burning stove are as follows. 

  1. It’s Clean energy

There won’t be any burning embers, sparks, odors, or smoke since nothing tangible is burning.

  1. Convenient usage

It’s incredibly realistic since it has a remote button that you can operate efficiently.

  1. Safe for both children and pets

Due to its control and lack of flying sparks or flames, it is safer for kids and pets.

  1. Less tasking

You may eliminate the additional effort of ensuring you always have the necessary materials to light your fireplace.

  1. Offers Several installation options

With gas fireplaces, you can choose where they go. It could be in the main bedroom, basement, or living room.

  1. A steady heat supply 

It produces heat continuously, in contrast to wood fireplaces.

  1. Easy to adjust the temperature

 In contrast to a wood-burning fireplace, which may sometimes be more unexpected, you can easily alter the flame from the fireplace.

Wood-burning stove alternative: Electric Fireplace

A modern fireplace living room. 

A modern fireplace living room. 

It has various configurations, including built-in, freestanding and wall-mounted, and electricity solely powers it.

Below are some of the remarkable electric fireplace pros.

  1. Energy effective

Electric fireplaces might function as sizable space heaters, keeping particular rooms in your house warm without using your furnace.

  1. Require limited maintenance

It requires substantially less upkeep than other fireplaces since they don’t burn actual wood or emit smoke or odors.

  1. Fume free

No actual flames are present; therefore, you can enjoy the warmth without suffering toxic flames.

  1. Easy to install

You may achieve a fire’s ambiance without extensive renovations by placing an electric fireplace near a wall and plugging it in.

Off-Grid Alternatives to Wood-Burning Stoves

Most of the fireplace choices we’ve covered above need a fan to force air throughout the house for even heat distribution. However, forced-air heating has the drawback of being grid-reliant. Let’s explore some of the alternatives.

Passive solar

Alternative to Wood Burning Stove:
Passive House

Passive House

It’s a great technique to warm up spaces within a house that radiant heat can’t reach. However, on overcast days, it is ineffective. 

Passive solar tiles need direct sunshine to absorb heat, even though solar panels may still collect some solar energy on cloudy days. 

Also, for the tiles to effectively absorb the heat, they need to be located in a room with significant southern exposure and many windows.

Masonry stove

Alternative to Wood Burning Stove:  An old-fashioned masonry stove. 

An old-fashioned masonry stove. 

It might be as straightforward as a mud-brick oven or as complex as a brick building with several chambers from floor to ceiling. Some do possess a closing door during firing. 

One advantage is that it may distribute heat from one room to another by circulating heat through a brick wall. However, all are entirely dependent on radiant heat.

Underground home

Alternative to Wood Burning Stove:
Underground heating. 

Underground heating

The geothermal idea underlies one of the finest options: during winter, the ground continues to be warmer than the air. Therefore, if possible, you should build your home underground since you can stay warmer throughout the winter.

Pellet stoves

Alternative to Wood Burning Stove:
Adding pellets to a stove. 

Adding pellets to a stove. 

This stove produces a reliable and regulated heat source for the house by burning wood chips, biomass pellets, peanut shells, or even corn cobs. 

One drawback is that you can easily run out of these sources since it’s hard to have a ton of them.

Fireplace Safety Measures

Alternative to Wood Burning Stove:
Uphold safety measures with all fireplaces. 

Uphold safety measures with all fireplaces

Lastly, there are safety measures you must uphold while dealing with any fireplace. Here are some of them.

  • Avoid placing bioethanol in drafty places in your home, such as busy locations where they could easily fall.
  • Some grades of bioethanol fuels have poor quality and can smell worse, causing trouble for you and your family.
  • You must inform your kids about the risks of fireplaces if you have any.
  • Try to keep your windows open as long as the fire is blazing.

Summary

We’ve explicitly highlighted all wood-burning stove alternatives. So, if you’re looking to buy a new fireplace, you have plenty of options. Depending on the type of room you want to install the fireplace and the kind of budget you have, you can attain your desired test. We hope this blog was helpful to you.

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