Hello, I am Melissa from NorthlineExpress. Today I am going to talk about fireplace efficiency. Fireplaces create comforting ambiance on a cold winter day. But have you realized that your fireplace could actually be more show than substance. Remember hot air rises so most of the heat produced actually escapes through the chimney. Fireplaces in use can also create an updraft that will actually suck warm air out of your home. I would like to introduce you to a few products today that can help increase the efficiency of your fireplace. I have some suggestions based on the frequency that you use your fireplace.
Stop Warm Air from Escaping
Let’s start with increasing efficiency for those who do not use their fireplace very often. So in this situation you would be less concerned with getting more heat from your fireplace but rather more concerned with the heat that could be escaping through your fireplace. For situations like this you want to make sure that you have your fireplace damper closed so you are not letting cool air in or vice versa, letting heat escape your home. But sometimes a damper is just not enough.
A good option for this is a chimney balloon. You may already have an existing damper in your fireplace, but metal dampers warp and corrode, and often do not close tightly around the edges. This lets in cold drafts and also allows your interior heat to escape. The addition of a chimney balloon damper will close off your chimney with a tight energy-saving seal. It is very simple to do, you inflate the Chimney Balloon into place to seal the fireplace flue. This seal will stop the drafts and also save on your heating and A/C bills by keeping your interior air from going up the flue.
Push the Warm Air back into the Room
For those of you who use your fireplace as supplemental heat, about 20% of the heat from your fire is going right up and out your chimney. Only about 40% of the heat generated by the burning wood is actually being sent into the house. The majority is sent up the chimney, as flue temps can reach 600 to 700. This is however prevented quite simply. If you have a fireplace that you would like to use to offset your home heating costs it is best to use a fireplace heater in your fireplace. Fireplace heaters are specifically developed to dramatically increase convection heat, or hot air, coming from your fireplace. The unique design of these grate heaters super heat the air within the exchanger tubes and then, with the blower, forces that warm air out into your home.
There are a variety of different fireplace heaters even some that are designed for use with gas logs. You could also add a blower to your fireplace, as they increase the fireplaces heat output significantly.
Improve Fireplace Efficiency
While all of the above are grate ways to improve your fireplaces efficiency, if you are using your fireplace every day in the colder months there is a more surefire way to increase the efficiency of your fireplace. That is by adding a fireplace insert into your existing fireplace. According to the HPBA, roughly speaking, yearly savings could range from $64-$255 (based on an average heating bill of $638) if you use an insert for zoned heating and turn down your thermostat. The design of fireplace inserts allow for maximum efficiency, because warm air circulates between the two walls and the fan blows the warmth out into your home. Most units also have a glass door which will also radiate additional heat out into your home.
The important thing to remember is you can minimize heat loss from your fireplace and turn it into an efficient room heater. I hope you have found these tips helpful, but if you still have questions about making your fireplace more efficient please give us a call at 866-667-8454. Here at NorthlineExpress, home of the Buy and Try Satisfaction Guarantee, we are always happy to help.