Zone heating and how to make it work for you
December 12nd 2011
A wood fireplace is a space heater, which means it is intended to heat the area it is installed in, as well as spaces that connect to that area, although to a lower temperature. This is called zone heating and it is an increasingly popular way to heat homes or spaces within homes.
Zone heating can be used to supplement another heating system by heating a particular space within a home, such as a basement family room or an addition that lacks another heat source.
Houses of moderate size and relatively new construction can generally be heated with a properly sized and located high efficiency wood fireplaces. Whole house zone heating works best when the fireplace is located in the part of the house where the family spends most of its time. This is normally the main living area where the kitchen, dining and living rooms are located. By locating the stove in this area, you will get the maximum benefit of the heat it produces and will achieve the highest possible heating efficiency and comfort. The space where you spend most of your time will be warmest, while bedrooms and basement (if there is one) will stay cooler. In this way, you will burn less wood than with other forms of heating.
Although the wood fireplace may be able to heat the main living areas of your house to an adequate temperature, we strongly recommend that you also have a conventional oil, gas or electric heating system to provide backup heating.
Your success with zone heating will depend on several factors, including the correct sizing and location of the fireplace, the size, layout and age of your home and your climate zone. Three-season vacation homes can usually be heated with smaller stoves than houses that are heated all winter.
Some Valcourt wood fireplaces use a Heat management system that allows to heat other areas in your home. To find out more about how you can manage heat distribution, click here.