1.  Fuel Choices

Fuels… what is best for you?

Since 1977, I have been helping folks with their decision making process as to which fuel is best for their needs. Let us review the pluses and minuses of all three fuel type appliances… Let’s start with wood…


1.Local natural resource
2.Maybe the homeowner can harvest their own
3.If not you support a local industry
4.Usually the least expensive to purchase
5.People claim it to be the most “soothing” heat of all fuels
6.Least dependent on outside suppliers
7.Best for the “self-reliant” folks
8.Bio-mass, better than gas for the environment
9.The dirtiest over all
10.The most labor intensive
11.Capital investment if you need a tall chimney for your system, may be the costliest of the 3 types.


1.Most efficient for bio-mass appliance
2.Cleaner than wood
3.More dependent on fuel supplier
4.More technical maintenance than wood
5.Requires electricity to operate
6.Provides a more even heat
7.Can use wall thermostat
8.Some are self-igniting
9.More convenient to load and store fuel
10.Fuel more costly than wood, but less than gas,normally
11.Flames are not realistic
12.Venting is normally simple
13.Mid cost for capital investment


1.Least labor intensive- no hauling of fuel
2.Cleanest fuel
3.Least amount of maintenance
4.Works without electricity- great back up for main heat system.
5.Works on thermostat
6.Most expensive fuel of the 3 types
7.“Convenient Heat”
8.Very realistic flames
9.Easy operation
10.Venting is usually a simple system
11.Usually the lowest capital investment

2.  Sizing Questions
        A)  Reasons for the Appliance — Primary, Secondary or Esthetics
        B)  Zone Heating for Full Structural
        C)  B.T.U. Ratings to Accomplishing Job
                1)  Insulations Package in Home
                2)  Quality of Windows
                3)  Layout of Building
        D)  Convenience

3.  Wood Products
        A)  Type of Fuel Choices
        B)  Venting/Draft
        C)  Maintenance/Cleaning
        D)  Wind Issues

4.  Gas Products
        A)  Lighting Appliance
        B)  Maintenance Issues
        C) Remote/Thermostats
        D)  Wind Issues

5.  Pellet Products
        A)  Maintenance Questions
        B)  Fuel Quality
        C)  Electronic Questions

6.  NFI — What is it?  National Fireplace Institute
        The Hearth Industries — educational, testing and certification
        organization for installers and techs

Contact us — we will do our best to support you.