Hire a Chimney Sweep To Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
Heating and cooling bills can be expensive! One of the drawbacks of having a fireplace is that it can reduce your home’s energy efficiency, since hot and cool air can escape up the chimney and seep out through the masonry, driving up the cost to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Thankfully, there are ways to make a house with a fireplace more energy efficient. Certified chimney sweeps have a few tricks up their sleeves to help you.
5 Ways a Chimney Sweep Can Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
1. Improving Air Flow for a More Efficient Fire
Fires burn more efficiently when they have appropriate air flow. You may have noticed that your fireplace burns hotter and longer with less fuel after the chimney has been clean out. That is because a chimney works more effectively when it isn’t clogged up by tough buildups of creosote (a highly flammable combustion byproduct that clings to the flue walls), and debris like leaves, little sticks and animal nest. Investing in an annual cleaning is worth it to improve the effectiveness of your fireplace. It also reduces the risk of a chimney fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
2. Sealing Cracks & Crevices
Cleaning creosote and debris out of the chimney isn’t the only thing that certified chimney sweeps do during a cleaning. While he is working on the flue lining, he can also inspect it and fill any crevices or cracks. Even just filling in little gaps in the flue liner can prevent heated and cooled air from seeping out to help reduce your energy costs.
3. Repairing a Warped Damper or Installing a Top Seal Damper
The damper acts as a door that can let air in or prevent it from getting out. Over time, a damper can become warped or cracked which allows more air to escape. A certified chimney sweep can install a new damper for you or repair one that isn’t functioning well.
If you are still concerned about the amount of air that seems to be flowing in and out of your house, a top sealing damper can be installed. Unlike a traditional damper, which sits at the top of the firebox, a top sealing damper is installed at the top of the chimney. It will tightly seal in cool, air-conditioned air during the summer and warm, heated air during the winter.
4. Insulating the Chimney
Modern metal chimney liners provide the highest efficiency. Since stone and bricks are porous, they allow more air to seep in and out. Lining the chimney with a metal flue liner prevents this from happening. Installing a metal flue liner on your own is not smart since fireplaces are more complex than they appear. A certified chimney sweep has the knowledge to recommend the best type of flue liner for your home’s chimney and the skills to expertly install it for you.
5. Sealing an Unused Fireplace or Installing Fireplace Doors
If you would like to completely eliminate the chance of a draft from your fireplace, you can have fireplace doors installed. Fireplace doors are tightly sealed so that air cannot escape through them when they are closed. They also make the firebox more efficient so that you will get more heat out of every log you place on the fire when your fireplace is in use. If you never use your fireplace, having it professionally sealed is the best way to improve your home’s efficiency. A certified chimney sweep can help you decided on the best way to seal it up and take care of it for you.
Stop back soon to find more tips and learn more about how to get the most out of your fireplace! If you’d like to make your home more energy efficient, give us a call at 804-440-5000 to set up an appointment! We are happy to serve home owners and renters in the Richmond, Virginia area from Williamsburg to Chesterfield and Ashland to Powhatan.