Winter home remodeling projects often include finishing an unfinished lower level of a home. As part of the many things to consider when finishing a lower level, it’s important to think about heating. Zone heating certain areas of a lower level with a gas, electric or wood stove or fireplace is an effective way to ensure the lower level is as cozy as the rest of your home.

A central family room that can be closed off from the upstairs with a door is a wonderful place to add a fireplace. Since heat rises, it typically is best to have a way to contain the heat in your lower level. This keeps only the lower zone heated vs adding more heat to the upstairs.

Deciding what type of additional heat source is affected by a few things. Some things to consider when adding a new heat source include:


Gas Fireplace

A vented gas fireplace is an aesthetically pleasing, simple to use and efficient heat source. Similar in operation to an electric fireplace, gas fireplaces do not require the mess of a wood source and they’re can be used only as much as needed by simply flipping a switch.

Gas fireplaces come in a wide variety of styles and can be made to look like a “real wood” fireplace.

With a gas fireplace or stove, you will want to install a carbon monoxide detector nearby to ensure proper safety for you and your family.


Wood Fireplace or Wood Stove

Wood stoves have the capacity to heat an entire home if you desire. In the case of using a wood stove to heat just a specific zone, you’ll need to think about the most appropriate stove size for the space.

With wood, it’s also nice to be able to bring wood in and out directly from the lower level. Tracking wood through the entire upstairs of a home can work, but if you plan to use the stove frequently it is best to make it easy to load wood in and lessen your mess from wood dust and debris.

Wood stoves also need larger and more complex chimney systems that could affect the upper level of your home as well.

If you are in the market for a backup heat source that can be used in the event of a power failure or an alternate heat source that could supply heat to your entire home, a wood stove is an excellent choice.


Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplaces are a great and simple zone heat sources. Easy to install, these high capacity heat sources work very well in lower levels and require less installation and upkeep vs wood stoves or wood fireplaces.

Electric fireplaces can be set to a specific temperature allowing you to heat only as much as you need at any given time.


Need help deciding what heat source is best for your space? The experts at Brekke Fireplace Shoppe are ready to help you choose the best heating option for your home and needs, so give us a call if you want to save money on your energy bill this winter.