Fireplaces create a warm ambiance and provide the heat needed to warm the room. They are an essential part of every home during winter.
Whether you live off the grid or grid-tied, a fireplace can help you keep warm without AC. Hence, the need to know how to get the most out of a fireplace.
A fireplace helps you use the wasted firewood and logs as the source of fuel. However, much of the heat produced can be wasted if the fireplace is not well constructed or taken care of.
In this article, we enlighten you on how to get the most heat out of a fireplace.
- How Much Heat Is Lost Through The Fireplace?
- 9 Ways To Get The Most Heat Out Of A Fireplace
- Install a Fireplace Insert
- Use A Chimney Damper And Fully Open The Damper
- Use Glass Doors With Tight Seals
- Use Chimney Fans
- Close The Windows But Still Make Sure To Ventilate The Room
- Set Up The Fireplace Properly To Maximize How Quickly The Fire Burns
- Keep The Fire Going
- Only Burn Dried/Well Seasoned Logs Firewood
- Clean Your Fireplace Regularly
- Tips For Enjoying A Safe And Efficient Fireplace
- Fireplace Heat FAQs
How Much Heat Is Lost Through The Fireplace?
About 80% to 90% of the heat produced by an open fireplace is lost through the chimneys. That means you only get heat worth only ten to twenty dollars for every $100 spent on firewood for your fireplace.
That might not seem a good deal if leaving off the grid since you can find it for free, but you still need to conserve it.
9 Ways To Get The Most Heat Out Of A Fireplace
Whether you buy firewood or get them free, you still need to ensure you get as much heat produced from a fireplace as possible. Use the following tips to increase the energy efficiency of your fireplace:
Install a Fireplace Insert
Fireplace inserts are a well-constructed stove placed inside a fireplace to improve its efficiency. These fireproof boxes are made of self-cleaning insulated glass.
It creates a closed combustion system that increases the fireplace efficiency to about 60-80%.
Buying and installing a fireplace insert can cost you anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000. This cost variation depends on the model you choose and the state of your current chimney.
Use A Chimney Damper And Fully Open The Damper
Chimney dampers are used to seal the chimneys so that no cold air enters the house and no heat escapes from the room.
US Fireplace Products Seal Tight Damper
You should open your chimney dampers when lighting the fire and when the wood is still burning. That is to ensure no smoke circulates in your house.
Chimney dampers are closed when the pieces of wood are burned completely to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. That preserves heat and helps your home to stay warm for an extended time.
Use Glass Doors With Tight Seals
Tempered glass doors with seals are commonly in fireplace construction. They reduce the amount of heat loss from the fireplace through the chimneys and also prevent updrafts.
A tightly sealed glass door will also prevent heat from radiating out of the fireplace.
Use Chimney Fans
Chimney fans improve your fireplace efficiency by ensuring effective combustion takes place in the fireplace. They are installed on the chimneys, where they create negative pressure when turned on.
The negative pressure extracts smoke from the chimney, making oxygen-rich air enter into the fireplace.
A fireplace fan costs about $50. You can install it yourself or hire an expert if you are not skilled in electrical wiring.
You should also have a source of electric power in your home to run the fan, which might add to the total cost of operations.
Close The Windows But Still Make Sure To Ventilate The Room
Some of the heat produced by the fireplace can escape through open windows. Closing them will ensure that no heat gets out of the room and cold air will also be blocked from entering the house.
However, you still need to make sure the house is well ventilated. The effective combustion of wood in the fireplaces requires a constant supply of fresh air. That can make this method a bit challenging to implement.
Set Up The Fireplace Properly To Maximize How Quickly The Fire Burns
Make Sure There Are No Cracks Or Crevices In Your Fireplace
Cracks on your fireplace can significantly affect its efficiency. Regular inspection of your fireplace is the only way to know of the presence of these cracks and seal them.
They can potentially compromise the combustion process, making your fireplace produce more smoke than heat.
Firebacks are heavy-duty iron or steel plates the size of a fireplace usually placed at the back of the fireplace.
Minuteman International Deer Cast Iron Fireback
Many of them are embossed with vibrant images of roman gladiators, Victorian floral motifs, historical scenes, and other images.
Firebacks are to radiate the generated heat from the fireplace into the room. They also protect your walls.
Keep The Fire Going
Continuous combustion ensures a constant supply of heat to your house. If the fire stops burning, even for a minute, it will take time to light it up again, giving room for cold air to fill the house.
Keep the fire burning for as long as possible to maintain the inside temperature.
Only Burn Dried/Well Seasoned Logs Firewood
Dry woods will burn first and with less smoke, producing heat in no minute. Using wet firewood in your fireplace will generate less heat and more smoke, leading to more heat losses.
Effective combustion takes place only when dry woods are used.
Clean Your Fireplace Regularly
Cleaning a fireplace involves removing ashes from it. That creates enough room for effective combustion, leading to maximum heat generation.
Clean your fireplace as frequently as possible, probably after each use, to improve its efficiency.
Tips For Enjoying A Safe And Efficient Fireplace
Ensure Have Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The use of chimney dampers and other things can block the chimney, escalating the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Enhance your safety and that of other house occupants by installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Always Keep Combustible Materials Away From The Fireplace
Many house fires originate from a fireplace. To avoid such incidents, keep any material that can catch fire and spread it to the rest of the house away from the fireplace. That is also one for safety reasons.
Clean Your Fireplace Regularly
Regular cleaning is necessary to keep your fireplace more efficient. It is also a way of making sure your hygiene standards are at par.
Clean & Inspect Your Chimney At Least Once A Year
Soot can accumulate on the chimney over time, this causes blocking. It can also be blocked by some objects or even rodents such as rats.
A regular inspection ensures that such incidents are detected on time for appropriate action to be taken.
Choose Energy-Dense Firewood And Not Burn Out Too Quickly
Energy-dense firewood ensures you have a continuous supply of heat from a fireplace without necessarily feeding in the wood at the same rate. Wood that burns out quickly can possibly escalate the operation costs.
Fireplace Heat FAQs
Should you open a window when you have a fire in the fireplace?
No. It is not necessary to open windows when you already have enough ventilation in the house.
Closing windows will make your home more energy-efficient but only do so after inspecting the ventilation holes to ensure that they are not blocked.
Is it safe to sleep with a fire in the fireplace?
There is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by incomplete combustion of wood that generates carbon monoxide.
You need to ensure that your chimney is open and there is enough ventilation if you have to sleep when there is a fire in the fireplace.
Is it bad to put a fan in front of a fireplace?
Fireplace fans are mounted on the chimney and not at the front. They are meant to improve combustion, which is only possible if they extract smoke from the fireplace through the chimney.
What is the purpose of glass doors on a fireplace?
Glass doors on a fireplace are usually sealed to prevent heat from radiating from the fireplace, increasing the fireplace efficiency.
A fireplace is a crucial element for warming your home. You can benefit from it more if you improve its efficiency.
With the tips on how to get the best heat out of the fireplace presented here, you can make it more efficient. Also, remember to stay safe when using a fireplace to warm your home.
If you want to stay outside, we have an article about 14 Effective Ways To Stay Warm Outside.
We thank you for reading this article at the Em Offgrid. We invite you to explore the site for more content on different off-grid living topics.