A fireplace, insert or free-standing stove can easily help reduce energy costs and increase the value of your home

According to an IRS report earlier last year, a total of $328.4 billion was refunded to 109.4 million U.S. taxpayers in 2010, for an average tax refund of $3003. This year, the volume of tax returns were similar. Still rebounding from the worst recession since the Great Depression, many Americans chose to spend their refunds in a more conservative manner than they did several years ago. Investing in an efficient hearth product such as a fireplace, insert or free-standing stove is a decision that can provide years of heat cost savings. 

Angie’s List conducted a survey and 90 percent of respondents said they planned to invest in home improvements in 2011. With accelerating fuel prices, it’s a good time to evaluate the options for heating and efficiency in our homes. Heating with pellets in a free-standing pellet stove or fireplace insert can save thousands of dollars per year over heating oil. Heating with cordwood in an EPA certified wood-burning fireplace or stove can provide even more savings, especially if the wood is harvested by the homeowner. If you have a drafty masonry wood-burning fireplace, you can make it up to 85 percent more efficient by installing a gas fireplace insert.

Hearth products also increase the value of your home. According to the National Center for Real Estate Research, adding a fireplace can increase its value by 6 to 12 percent. And it costs less than you may think. For example, you can add a direct vent gas fireplace to your existing home for as little as $3,500 including installation. For as little as $2,900, you can add a wood or gas free-standing stove, or you can transform your drafty masonry wood-burning fireplace into a heating powerhouse with a gas or wood-burning insert. Free-standing pellet stoves or fireplace inserts can cost as little as $3,200 complete.

“Given the volatility of oil prices, investing in home heating and efficiency is wise,” said Diane Utzman-O”Neill, vice president of marketing for Hearth & Home Technologies.

Source: Hearth & Home Technologies.  For more information visit www.fireplaces.com  or www.hearthnhome.com


PICTURED: The new TL2.0 from Harman offers compact, efficient heating. Harman’s exclusive FireDome Plus technology delivers maximum heat and steady burns—up to 16 hours with each load. Easily add fuel to the fire using the convenient top load door. This efficient wood stove is available with distinctive options to accent your home. Also new from Harman is the TL2.6 model wood stove, available in two styles.  The model burns up to 18 hours with each load.