If you are in the market for a new hearth product, you may have seen fuel efficiency rating information. But with so much out there, it can be confusing to understand what it means for you and your family.

In the United States there are two types of efficiency ratings, Steady State and Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). Since most homeowners use their fireplaces for an extended period of time while they are in the room, Steady State measures how efficiently your fireplace converts fuel to heat once it is warmed up and running in a “steady state”.

AFUE ratings are more typically used with appliances, like furnaces, that continually cycle on and off to maintain a constant temperature. In Canada, an EnerGuide rating is used to measure annual fireplace efficiency.

If you are unsure what you should be looking for when shopping for an efficient gas fireplace, here is a list of some common features to consider:

  • Direct vent technology
  • Ceramic glass fronts
  • Secondary heat exchangers
  • Circulating fans
  • Intermittent electronic ignition system.

As a guideline, a fireplace with a 70-80% efficiency rating would be a dependable choice.

Stoves are another great hearth option if you’re not in the market for a fireplace. Able to burn wood, pellets or coal, Harman stoves are built to last and provide unparalleled heat and efficiency. The Harman Oakwood Wood Stove is just one stove option that gives you a high fuel efficiency rating while adding to your home’s ambiance.

Looking for an efficient addition to your home? Browse top fireplaces and stoves at