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How to Maximize Usable Heat from Your Fireplace

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

The fireplace generates comforting warmth and adds a comforting ambiance to a living space during the bitter winter. Maximizing the heat from the fireplace is important because 1) firewood is expensive and 2) warm air creates updrafts that suck the warmth out of the room and into the chimney. You can easily lose a lot of money and waste energy if your chimney is unable to keep usable heat where it belongs. In today’s post, we are listing down ways to maximize usable heat generated by your fireplace:

Using Tempered Glass

One way to seal the warm air in is to replace the screen in front of the fireplace with tempered glass doors. Then, simply close the door as the fire burns. The tempered glass will raise the temperature of the chimney and reduces the updrafts that suck warm air out of the room. Of course, the doors have to be very tight so it seals in the air effectively. Use fiberglass gasket along the edge of the glass to remove any opening.

Fireplace Insert

Another way to maximize usable heat in a fireplace is to install a fireplace insert. You need a fireplace insert that fits perfectly on your fireplace. To do that, get a measuring tape and measure the width and length of the fireplace. To ensure maximum efficiency, install a double-wall unit with a built-in circulating fan. This way, the warm air will circulate between the two walls as the fan blows warm air. That said, you might not need a fan if you are warming up a small room.

Use Seasoned Firewood

Freshly cut or green wood does not make a great firewood. The moisture from the wood will inhibit efficient burning. You need to use seasoned firewood. Seasoned firewood has been dried completely so there is no moisture that could inhibit fire burning. The best firewood is one that has been dried for an entire season to a year.

Opening the Damper

To increase warm air in the room, open the damper as wide as possible. Opening the damper will boost combustion; increases the amount of heat generated by the fire, and makes the wood burn faster. The damper handle is located above the fireplace opening, just slide it right out to open.

To ensure efficiency, have the damper checked regularly for leaks when the fireplace is not in use. The damper should seal and close the fireplace tightly.

Open a Window

The lack of oxygen in the room could cause the fire to die out. So if you are using the fireplace, cracking the window an inch or two helps bring fresh air in. Keep the door of the room where the fireplace is located closed and turn down the thermostat that regulates the furnace.

Closing the door reduces heat loss and this will help maximize the heat from the furnace. In addition, the glass door of the chimney can be closed as the fire is dying away. This reduces warm air from venting up into the chimney before closing the damper.


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