Are You Warming Your Home With Your Fireplace OR Cooling It Down?
I love the ambiance of a crackling fire in the fireplace on a chilly Wisconsin winter evening. Fireplaces are one of the most requested home features when someone is considering buying or building a home.
There is a problem though if you plan to keep your home warm with a traditional masonry fireplace without planning to make it more efficient.
The United State Department of Energy estimates that ninety percent of the heat being produced by a traditionally designed open front fireplace is going right up the chimney and not warming your home. In fact, the fire may be drawing air from your home that you have paid to be warmed by your furnace and sending it up the chimney too.
So are fireplaces a bad idea? Not if they are designed and used correctly. You can add warmth, value, and that special atmosphere to your home with a fireplace.
Here are some tips for making that happen:
- Close the damper when not using the fireplace. Open it when you are ready to build a fire.
- Install a Fireplace Insert. Fireplace inserts come with glass doors that let you enjoy the beautiful fire AND turn your fireplace into a more efficient “wood stove”. Buying and installing one that has circulating fans is another plus.
- If building new, put the fireplace in an interior wall instead of an exterior wall. Fireplaces have massive amounts of masonry and can conduct your heat right to the great outdoors when built into exterior walls.
- If a fireplace insert is out of the question, at least install fireplace doors. Keep the doors closed when not using the fireplace and even when using will allow you to enjoy the fire and be more efficient.
Don’t let your fireplace be an drain on your utility bill. Use it wisely and let it help you warm your home and add that special touch of homeliness to it also.
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Originally posted at The Better Home Blog