So you’ve decided to install a secondary heat source in case the power goes out for an extended period of time again this year. Admit it; we’re all a bit traumatized from winters 2009 and 2014. You have a few great heating options for emergency or backup heat sources. I’m going to go over some of the most popular options. The ultimate decision is yours alone.

Wood Burning Stove

Some people consider a wood burning stove an eye sore. Have you actually taken a look at some of the stylish models available today? They’ve come a long way from the solid black cast iron stove your grandparents had! Some of today’s models are the perfect combination of old world elegance and modern technology. 

Wood stoves must be installed properly, and I won’t go into a lot of detail here because different manufacturers recommend a variety of clearances. Some wood burning stoves may be installed with just a few inches of clearance from a combustible wall where others require 18 to 24 inches. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and request help from a contractor with experience installing wood burners.


A fireplace adds a lot of dynamic to a room. They tend to provide a warm and fuzzy feeling, even when they’re not in use. You just feel comfortable in a room with a fireplace; unless you have small children or curious pets. Always take necessary safety precautions with children and pets around the fireplace. 

Fireplaces must also be installed properly in order to prevent serious damage to the structure of your home. Your contractor will be able to tell you the best spot to build the fireplace, and offer advice on where to install the chimney.

Build a Hearth for Either Option

If you’re torn because you want a wood burning stove for the radiant heat, but you love the appearance of a hearth, build a hearth for the stove. Many homeowners have found that a wood burning stove looks amazing sitting on a six to eight inch platform surrounded by a hearth. Google some different options, and you’ll be convinced!

Whole House Generator

I mention this last because for two very distinct reasons; expense of installation and use of gasoline. A whole house generator is quite expensive to install, though they are very reliable during a temporary power outage. Unfortunately, most do operate on gasoline or propane, and those run out eventually.

With a New Chimney Comes Annual Inspections

Yes, your new chimney and fireplace or stove will need a yearly inspection. Most homeowners schedule an inspection and cleaning around the same time they change the batteries in the smoke detector so they don’t forget. This is an extremely important step in ensuring the safety of your household. No chimney is maintenance-free, no matter what others may say.

Call me any time to schedule an inspection and cleaning in Delaware County!