Heating SystemsFurnace vs Fireplace: Which One Is More Efficient?

MM Comfort Systems has served Seattle, Redmond, and Sumner for more than five decades. In that time, we have installed both furnaces and fireplaces. As more homeowners seek energy-efficient ways to heat their homes, we are often asked whether furnaces are more efficient than fireplaces.

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency

AFUE is a measurement of heating efficiency that applies to furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, fireplaces, and other heating equipment. It applies to all heating sources, such as electric, gas, and propane. Be wary of heating products that are not rated since they can be difficult to evaluate.

British Thermal Unit

You may also come across BTU, which measures how much heat a product generates. Generally, you should have a BTU target based on need. You can then compare the AFUE rating across products that provide similar BTUs.

Products with Similar AFUE Ratings

If a particular furnace has the same AFUE rating as a certain fireplace, does that mean they are equally efficient? Yes, but it also does not paint a complete picture. A furnace is generally part of a central system that provides heat throughout a home. A fireplace, on the other hand, usually provides heat in a direct manner to an immediate area.

Which Is More Efficient?

The answer usually is not as simple as saying that one is more efficient than the other. However, using a gas fireplace in rooms you use often, such as the living room and bedroom, does allow a home to be more efficient overall. That is because you can reduce the temperature of the central system.

Seattle’s Heating and Cooling Pros

MM Comfort Systems offers a broad range of heating and air conditioning services for both residential and commercial clients. That includes installations, maintenance, duct cleaning, scheduled repairs, and 24/7 emergency repair service. Call us today or contact us online through our website with any questions about our services or to schedule an appointment.


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Office: M-F 8am - 5pm
Services: 24/7
9680 153rd Ave NE,
Redmond, WA 98052

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