Heatilator: Right for your Home?
LESLIE: Matt in New Hampshire is looking for some advice on heating this heating season. How can we help you?MATT: Yes, I had a question in regards to what’s called a Heatilator. One of the manufacturers is Thermo-Rite. And basically, the idea is it keeps the heat from just going up your chimney; because I’m not ready for a pellet stove yet.TOM: OK.MATT: What it does is it uses the coals that basically – you know, the ambers from the wood that’s burning in the fireplace as they fall – which, as you know, leaves a nice, orangey glow; a nice really hot heat. They fall on top of these aluminum tubes. So basically, this replaces your log holder; the grate that’s in there.TOM: Right.MATT: And it then has a fan that plugs into a regular plug and it takes cold air in and blows the hot air out.TOM: Right.MATT: It turns on at 110 and turns off at 90 and it says that it does 40,000 BTUs an hour; so that’s pretty good. And they’re relatively inexpensive. So I just wanted to see if – get your opinion on them, actually.TOM: Well, I think that will increase the efficiency of your fireplace but keep in mind that the most efficient thing you can do with your fireplace is to plug it up because it does let a lot of heat – a lot of expensive, heated air that’s been heated with your conventional furnace – out the chimney. So, if you can have something like that, you certainly want to take advantage of technologies that are going to help that convective process and perhaps with the fan assist it will blow more air and direct more air back into the house. So I think it’s better than not having it but, again, fireplaces are not the most efficient way to heat your house.MATT: Absolutely.TOM: But like you say, if it’s not a lot of money and it’s going to hold you over for a while, why not.MATT: Alright, great.TOM: We still recommend fireplaces for coziness and for roasting marshmallows (Leslie chuckles) but, beyond that, they don’t work so well to heat your house. (Matt chuckles)MATT: That’s true. (chuckles) Alright, I appreciate it.TOM: You’re welcome, Matt. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.