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Boosting Efficiency

For those of you who are interested in saving money during the winter months, improving your fireplace’s efficiency is an excellent way because you’ll need to burn less fuel to generate the necessary amount of heat. Your annual chimney inspection and sweeping may or may not be enough to improve efficiency to desired levels. Additionally, better efficiency from your fireplace usually means releasing fewer pollutants into the atmosphere, which in addition to reduced consumption, makes it an environmentally friendly choice that helps both the planet and your local air quality.

Be smart and save money! Find the best way to efficiently use your fireplace.

Be smart and save money! Find the best way to efficiently use your fireplace.

Some simple steps can be taken to improve your fireplace’s efficiency, allowing you to keep your living space warmer while burning less wood.

 Have a Chimney Damper

One of the first steps is reducing the amount of heat lost through the chimney when there is no fire burning. Ensuring that your damper is in good working condition and is sealing properly can best do this. Throat-mount dampers are found in more chimney systems, as they’ve been around longer; however, their top-sealing counterparts are becoming more popular since they more effectively seal off the chimney when the system is not in use.

Slightly Open a Window

An extremely simple step that can be taken to make your fireplace more efficient is to simply find the window nearest to the fireplace and open it a little bit. At the same time, if the fireplace is in a closed room like a den, you can close the doors to the rest of the house and keep all of the heat in that particular room. Having the window slightly open will allow the fireplace to draw cooler air from the outside if it needs to, rather than drawing in already heated air and losing much of that heat through the chimney.

Install an Air Intake

An even better step to improve fireplace efficiency, if you have the ability, is to install a special air intake next to the fire. This intake can pull air in directly from the outdoors, rather than having to pull it through the room from a nearby open window. This ensures greater efficiency by keeping warm air in the house where it belongs, and setting up a flow of warm air coming out of the fireplace into the house, rather than having the fireplace constantly sucking in warm air and losing it through the chimney.

Other Devices

Many devices can also be purchased to improve fireplace efficiency. A radiant fireplace grate, for example, holds the logs up off the ground of the fireplace, making sure more heat is disbursed out into the room, improving efficiency quite dramatically for a very small investment. Electric fans can also be purchased and installed in the form of grate blowers or tube heaters, which will constantly push hot air out into the room, decreasing the amount of heat lost through the chimney and improving overall fireplace performance.