Fireplace Season

Home Inspector with Kollias Property Inspections, Inc.

More than 100 million homes in North America are constructed with wood-or gas -burning fireplaces. However, fireplaces can be big energy wasters.

Fireplaces can act like giant straw, sucking your expensive heated or air-conditioned air right up the chimney and out of your house. In addition, sometimes odors, toxins, noise and insects come into the house through the chimney.

Fireplaces often have dampers that are meant to be shut when the fireplace is not used. However, even if the damper is shut it is not air-tight. Glass doors don't stop the drafts either. One study has shown that an open damper on an unused fireplace in a well-insulated house can raise overall heating-energy consumption by 30 percent. Your heating bills may be more than $500 higher per winter due to drafts and wasted energy caused by fireplaces.

An easy cost efficient solution to this problem is to add a fireplace plug to your fireplace. A fireplace plug is an inflatable pillow that seals the fireplace damper, eliminating drafts, odors and noise. The pillow is easily removed whenever the fireplace is used, then reinserted after. Check you local fireplace store for information about this product.

Comments (1)

Kerrie La Guardia
ActiveRain, Community Manager - Kirkland, WA
Let it Rain!

Thanks for the heads up Tom!  I will always be sure to close the damper when we're not using it.  My heating bills are high enough as it is!

Nov 15, 2012 05:58 AM