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Make Your Fireplace More Energy Efficient

Drafty Fireplace VADo ever wonder why there is still a chill in the air even though you have a roaring fire? That’s because a masonry wood-burning fireplace works more like an incinerator than a heater. As the chimney draws the cold air into the fireplace, soot, smoke and other contaminants are vented through the chimney along with most of the heated air. The remaining 10% of the generated heat warms the space. Which is why you’re probably still wearing a sweater around the house.

Fortunately, we have some tips that you can use to make your fireplace more energy efficient.

Burn dry firewood

The first step in making your fire-burning experience more energy efficient is using high quality, seasoned firewood. Dry firewood that has been seasoned for at least 6 months burn slower with less smoke. Feeding your fire seasoned wood will not only give you maximum heat, the it fills the room with a pleasant aroma.

Adjust the damper

Always start your fire with the damper fully open. An open damper will provide the fire with the oxygen it needs to develop into a roaring fire. Once you have a nice fire burning, close the damper about half way. This will help prevent some of the heated air from escaping through the chimney without starving the fire of oxygen. However, never completely close the damper when you have a fire burning in the fireplace. Doing so will create a fire hazard and put the occupants at risk of exposure to deadly carbon monoxide fumes.

Chimney Sweep VASweep your chimney

A fireplace cannot operate efficiently when the chimney is dirty with creosote, wood ash, debris, and other blockages. Hiring a certified chimney sweep to clean your chimney and fireplace twice a year removes dangerous accumulations of creosote and any chimney blockages, thus increasing the efficiency of your fireplace.

Use tempered glass doors

Installing tempered glass fireplace doors will help radiate the heat into the room, increasing the efficiency of your fireplace by as much as 20% or more. They are very affordable, and installation is quick and easy. For your safety, make sure you purchase high quality doors from a reputable hearth products store. Professional installation is recommended for best results.

Install a fireplace insert

For maximum heating efficiency, install a fireplace insert. Fireplace inserts are self-contained heating appliances that fit snugly inside a masonry fireplace. An EPA-certified insert can provide up to 90% heating efficiency with less fuel consumption. Fireplace inserts are available in your choice of fuel including wood, pellets, gas and electric. Inserts can also be used to convert your fireplace from one fuel source to another. Visit your nearest Chimney Solutions store to see our wide selection of energy-efficient fireplace inserts.

Try some of these tips to increase the energy efficiency of your fireplace. Not only will you avoid incinerating your firewood, you will enjoy more heat. And you will probably be able to ditch the sweater too.