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Make a Fireplace More Energy Efficient

Updated:2013-11-28 16:18:18
A fireplace is more of a decorative element than a heating device. They are inefficient, losing more than 80 percent of the heat they generate even when the fire is blazing. Most of the heat escapes up the chimney as natural convection currents tug at the warmed air. The draft created by this airflow actually pulls warm air from the room along as well, further decreasing efficiencies. However, there are a few things homeowners can do to make their fireplaces perform a better job of heating the home.
Instructions as follows:
Firstly, close the damper when the fireplace is not in use. An open damper, even one that is partially open, allows warm air from the home to escape to the outside.
Secondly, arrange for a thorough cleaning and inspection of the fireplace, flue and damper. A licensed chimney sweep is able to perform the necessary tasks. The inspection reveals problems such as cracks that could lead to gases entering the home or fire hazards. Cleaning removes soot and creosote, the presence of which decreases fireplace efficiency and increases the chances of experiencing a chimney fire.
Thirdly, open the outside air vent if your fireplace has one. Typically located on the floor of the firebox, the vent allows outside air to enter the fireplace, decreasing the amount of warm air drawn in from the room.
Fourthly, replace a solid metal grate with a heating grate made of tubular steel. Heating grates are C-shaped, with a design that draws cold air from the bottom of the grate, heats it via the burning wood and circulates warm air back into the room.
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