4 Ways to Improve Chimney and Home Energy Efficiency
A chimney not in use can significantly reduce home energy efficiency. Homeowners interested in cutting energy costs do well to give attention to their chimneys. If a traditional fireplace is not sealed off properly, it can be the reason a significant amount of warmed air from the home escapes through the chimney in winter. An inefficient chimney system can be like leaving a large window open, draining your home of valuable resources. You can improve the efficiency of your chimney with the following four steps.
One – Maintain a Clean Chimney
Fire safety experts recommend that homeowners schedule chimney cleaning every year. Highly flammable soot and creosote are deposited in the chimney every time you burn a wood fire. Sometimes creosote builds up to the extent it blocks the chimney, causing toxic gases to enter the home. Blockage can also occur as a result of animals and birds going into the chimney. Debris can also create blockage. A clean chimney operates more efficiently than one in which routine cleaning is neglected.
Two – Ensure Combustion Air Intakes are Sufficient
Air is one of the crucial components of getting fires started and keeping them burning. As air is drawn from the home into a fireplace and then out through the chimney, it is important that the air is replaced. Houses today are sealed more tightly than ever, which can work against proper operation of a chimney. Ducts are usually installed in homes with fireplaces. The ducts draw fresh air inside, which is referred to as “combustion air intake.”
Additional complications can be caused by exhaust fans, which are typically in bathrooms and the kitchen. Clothes dryers can also remove air from the home.
If you are unsure about air flow in your home, you can call certified chimney technicians, who have the training and knowledge to help you with all venting issues.
Three – Keep Fireplace Dampers Sealed when Not in Use
The damper inside your chimney is important because it is supposed to prevent a continuous exchange of air from indoors to out-of-doors when the fireplace isn’t in use. If you light a match, blow it out, and put it up near the damper, you can see if the smoke flows through the damper doors. If it does, you may need to have it replaced or repaired. Many homeowners add an upper damper toward the top of the chimney, to create a dual system intended to seal off the air from the chimney.
Four – Upgrade with a Fireplace Insert
The best way to improve home fireplace and chimney efficiency is to have a fireplace insert installed in your traditional masonry fireplace. The efficiency of a fireplace without an upgrade is 10% at best, though usually less. With an insert, efficiency can increase to as much as 80%.
Contact Trusted Experts
Chimney Saver Solutions is a full service chimney company widely respected in the Richmond area. Contact our licensed, certified chimney sweeps for chimney cleaning, chimney inspection, installation of a fireplace insert, and all of your needs related to fireplaces, stoves, and chimneys. Call 804-440-5000 today to improve chimney efficiency.