Tips to Make Your Fireplace Work for You
It can be awfully cozy to curl up near the fireplace with a good book or play board games with family and friends. But did you know your fireplace is actually one of the most inefficient heating sources available?
By following these few steps from the Department of Energy, you can make sure your heating bill doesn’t burn you this winter. Here’s how:
- Plug and seal the chimney flue if you do not use your fireplace.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is going. Leaving the damper open is like an open window on a cold day. As air in your home warms, it rises up and out of your chimney if not properly sealed when not in use.
- Reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly—approximately 1 inch—and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to 50°- 55°F when you have a fire lit.
- Check the seal on the flue damper and make it as snug as possible.
- Caulk around the fireplace hearth to prevent warm air from escaping.
- Circulate warm air back into your home. Use grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw cool room air into the fireplace.
- Install a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room. Tempered glass doors will also help you maintain the heat your fireplace generates.
By making some or all of these fixes, you’ll be able to enjoy your fireplace without worrying about heat loss. If you want to increase your savings on utility bills, check out other do-it-yourself tips.