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4 Ways to Improve your Wood-Burning Fireplace’s Efficiency

Wood burning fireplaceA traditional, wood-burning fireplace creates a comforting ambiance on a cold winter day. However, it’s ability to warm your home can sometimes be a more complicated task than one might think.

Since hot air rises, most of the heat that is produced by a fire escapes up through the chimney. Luckily, we’ve come up with a list of 4 ways you can get more heat and efficiency out of your wood-burning fireplace:

1. Use the Damper to it’s full potential

A fireplace damper is located in the throat of a masonry chimney and its purpose is to seal your fireplace shut when it is not in use to prevent heat from your home from escaping up the chimney. The damper should be kept open while a fire is lit to increase the amount of air to the fire. This improves combustion and increases the amount of heat that the fire produces. The handle to the damper is typically located above the fireplace opening, and you usually have to slide it over to adjust it.

2. Use glass doors

Fireplace glass doors are designed to work in conjunction with a damper. When you aren’t burning wood in your fireplace, both the damper and the fireplace doors should be closed to create a stronger barrier to heat loss. Glass doors need to be in the open position during your fire. Burning with the doors closed makes for a smokier fire, a dirtier chimney, and more air pollution. The fire needs lots of air for draft and combustion. However, when the fire starts to die down, you have to keep your damper open until the fire is fully put out. Therefore, you can’t close your damper until the next morning when the fire has completely died down. However, you CAN close the glass doors on your fireplace fully to prevent heated air in the room from escaping up the chimney.

3. Burn only seasoned firewood

We can’t stress this enough! Unseasoned firewood is firewood that wasn’t seasoned or allowed to fully dry. If you try to burn unseasoned firewood, it doesn’t work as efficiently because most of the energy is being used to remove moisture from the wood rather than product heat to warm your home. Seasoned wood, on the other hand, has been dried, allowing it to burn more efficiently and effectively. Burning wood this way will end up saving you more time, money, and energy in the long run.

4. Use a fireplace insert

Fireplace inserts are one of the best heating efficiency solutions for your fireplace and will increase it’s heating potential. Essentially, installing a fireplace insert means installing a woodstove inside of the masonry fireplace. For maximum safety and efficiency, the cast iron or steel box should fit securely in the fireplace and the chimney should be lined correctly. 

Follow these simple tips, and you’ll be able to cut heating costs and improve your wood-burning fireplace’s efficiency this winter!

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