Zone Heating 101

While some hearth products have the capability of heating an entire house, most are designed to heat a room or a cluster of rooms. Zone heating is also the perfect solution for warming a cold room or a new room addition. The strategy of zone heating is often most beneficial in homes with older central furnaces that tend to lose heat through inefficient operation and leaky duct-work. It can also be beneficial when only a small family occupies a large house.

Variety of Options

There are many hearth products applicable for zone heating, including freestanding stoves, fireplace inserts and masonry heaters. Within these types, there are hearth products that burn firewood, natural gas, propane, pellets, oil, coal, and corn. The key to selecting the correct hearth product is determining the zones of the house to heat, the level of desired heat, available fuels, intended use patterns, and the convenience factor. Also consider the style, design, and layout of the home where the hearth product will be installed.

How To Get Started

Visit a specialty retailer for experienced advice before making any final decisions. As you consider your options, here are some questions to help guide you in choosing the right hearth product as a zone heater:

  • What zone of the house do you wish to heat? 
  • How open is the main living area of your home?
  • How many square feet are in this zone? 
  • What type of central heat do you have? 
  • What fuels are readily available in your area? 
  • Do you have an existing woodburning fireplace? 
  • What is the age and construction of your house? 
  • What is your design style? 
  • Is there available space to install a freestanding stove?