Is your money going up the chimney?


A little maintenance can go a long way in making your fireplace run more efficiently.

How to make your fireplace more efficient

 

Nothing beats gathering around the fire when the weather turns cool. Unfortunately, a wood-burning fireplace could be a major source of energy loss in your home, sending your utility bills sky high.

However, you don’t need to sacrifice the fire to improve your home’s energy efficiency and reduce your heating bills; in fact, it’s possible to convert your wood fireplace into an efficient heat source with the following tips.

 

Upgrade your fireplace

Consider a gas fireplace insert. They generate more radiant heat and are cleaner to maintain than traditional masonry style wood-burning fireplaces, which are a leading source of indoor air loss.

“Traditional wood fireplaces add a lot of charm to a home, but they are inefficient — even when they aren’t in use,” says Andy Tesch, brand director of Heat & Glo, the leading manufacturer of innovative gas fireplaces, stoves and inserts. “A gas fireplace insert is a great alternative to maintain the ambiance a fire creates while enhancing efficiency.”

A gas fireplace insert is cleaner, too, creating no ash, soot, or smoke. 

If you can’t part with the aroma, crackle and act of building a real fire, consider pellet and EPA-certified wood inserts, which can be an easy, clean and efficient alternative as well.

 

Best practices

If making the upgrade to an insert is not possible, a few simple steps can drastically improve the energy efficiency of your fireplace. Number one, when the fireplace is not in use, close the chimney damper. You’ll prevent warm air and your money from going up and out the chimney. A flue sealer is an affordable, inflatable stopper that fits below the damper to further seal off the chimney and is a worthwhile purchase.

Proper maintenance can also go far to improve your fireplace’s efficiency. Have it inspected, maintained and cleaned annually. Even if you love DIY, you may want to hire a contractor to ensure the job is done safely and thoroughly.

Considering adding doors or a cover to the front of your fireplace to help reduce the draft and improve the look. There are many styles available to enhance your interior design.

A few upgrades and habits will allow you to enjoy your fireplace all winter long, while keeping heating bills low. (StatePoint)

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