A heatilator fireplace is a popular brand name for an air circulating fireplace. A heatilator is useful because it makes your fireplace more efficient while still allowing an open fire.
How do they work?
A heatilator style fireplace is a double-walled fireplace that has vents built into the masonry of your fireplace. Air is drawn into the vents, heated by the fire and then forced out of different vents to heat your home.
Simply put, an air circulating fireplace heats your home much better than a traditional fireplace.
Heatilator vs Wood Stove and Fireplace Insert
As you probably know, traditional fireplaces are not energy efficient. Compared to a wood stove, your are not even putting a dent in your heating bill. But how does a heatilator compare?
A heatilator will improve the efficiency of a fireplace, but it can't produce the same amount of heating efficiency that you will find with an EPA certified wood stove or fireplace insert. Even though the heatilator circulates hot air, it is still an open fireplace which is not efficient.
A heatilator is the best way to improve the heating ability of a fireplace. Unfortunately, it really can't compete with the efficiency of a wood stove.
How important is having an open fire?
That is the question you must ask to determine whether an air circulating fireplace or wood stove is the best option. Personally, I don't believe that a wood stove can replicate the ambiance that you get from an open fire. For that reason I have both a fireplace and a woodstove. The woodstove is for heating and the fireplace is for enjoyment.
Bottom line- buy a heatilator for your fireplace to enjoy an open fire as efficiently as possible. Buy a wood stove or a fireplace insert to heat your home.
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