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Your best options in non-electric backup heating

Whether to provide heat during a power outage, enhance your comfort, or add a touch of style to your living space, non-electric backup heating systems function using a variety of different fuel types.

What are the benefits? The drawbacks? Here’s an overview of the principal models and their characteristics. You’ll learn all about the best available options when it comes to non-electric backup heating.

Heating with a wood-burning stove

Relatively affordable, a wood-burning stove offers an excellent combustion rate for optimum energy efficiency. Another significant aspect is that it’s an environmentally friendly source of heat, as it’s the only one that qualifies as virtually carbon-neutral, since wood as it burns only gives off the carbon it has absorbed during its lifetime (see the carbon cycle).

To ensure quality and efficiency, you should select a stove that’s EPA certified. This certification guarantees fine-particulate emissions of less than 7.5 grams per hour. What’s more, a wood stove is pleasing to the eye and quickly creates a comforting ambience. Does this compensate for cutting, transporting and stacking logs, as well as the regular maintenance that’s indispensable for your safety? Only you can say for sure. Other disadvantages to consider include the inability to regulate the temperature of the stove and the instability of the price of wood, which is subject to the whims of the market. Wood-burning fireplaces and stoves are still a very appealing option for staying warm when the electricity is out for extended periods. Certain wood-burning stoves can even serve as cooktops.

Heating with a gas fireplace or stove

Easy to install, most gas fireplaces and stoves operate without electricity and often don’t require anything more than an exhaust vent. As a result, you can position them virtually anywhere. They also disperse heat almost instantaneously, in comparison with wood-burning stoves, which take a little longer to warm up.

This system definitely wins some points when it comes to operation, as it doesn’t require logs or cleaning. Using a remote control or thermostat, you can quickly light, turn off or adjust the temperature of your gas stove or fireplace, making it an especially suitable option in the event of a power failure. You can even connect your gas stove to your home’s ventilation ducts in order to use it as a form of non-electric central heating. And if you opt for natural gas instead of propane, you’ll get a more advantageous price.

Heating with a masonry fireplace

Full of character, a masonry fireplace immediately lends a touch of charm to your living space. It may be difficult to consider it as backup heating; however, it may be capable of heating your residence in its entirety, thanks to the stones, which trap and store heat. Even after the flames have gone out, this accumulated warmth can still spread throughout the home and help maintain a comfortable temperature. A wood-burning masonry fireplace has the same drawbacks as a wood-burning stove: the need to manage firewood and perform time-consuming maintenance (annual chimney sweeping, cleaning up ashes, etc.). One major disadvantage is the price, which not everyone can afford. You should also be aware that a pellet-burning masonry fireplace doesn’t work without electricity.

Expert advice on backup heating

For all the information and tips you need in order to make your final selection, you can count on the specialists at Foyer Gaz. Known for the quality of their products and services, they’ll earn your trust and exceed your expectations.