Increase Fireplace Efficiency
If you want to reduce your reliance on nonrenewable energy in winter, adopt a strategy on how to increase fireplace efficiency. The truth is out about the gross inefficiency of traditional masonry fireplaces. Fortunately, you have several sure-fire options for improving the efficiency of your fireplace. As needed, contact the chimney experts at Guardian Chimney Sweep for help with any of the following changes that will boost fireplace efficiency.
Add a Fireplace Insert
Schedule the installation of a fireplace insert to convert your masonry fireplace into a highly efficient source of heat. A fireplace insert is essentially a metal-encased wood-burning stove with a heat exchanger. First, a masonry fireplace is carefully measured and then a fireplace insert is custom-made to ensure the right fit. You will still be able to enjoy watching the flames, though they are encased behind glass. Fuel options for fireplace inserts include gas, wood, and pellets. Instead of 10% efficiency, at best, with a masonry fireplace, inserts deliver 70% to 80% efficiency or higher.
Professional fireplace insert installation is essential to ensure proper operation as well as maximum efficiency and safety of your new heating unit. To ensure coverage in your home insurance policy, professional installation of any heating units you add is likely required.
Schedule Fireplace and Chimney Maintenance
Annual chimney inspections are highly recommended by all leading fire safety organizations. During inspections, chimney experts check all accessible components of fireplaces and chimneys. Chimney sweeps can identify signs of damage and make recommendations for maintenance and repair.
Chimney exteriors are highly prone to suffer damage. Moisture intrusion is the biggest culprit, though other harsh outdoor conditions can create problems, as well. Keeping up with fireplace and chimney repairs will eliminate problems that reduce fireplace efficiency.
Add Glass Doors
If you have glass doors installed on your fireplace, heating efficiency will especially be increased when a fire isn’t burning. As long as the doors create a seal that prevents air leaks, the heated air in your home will be prevented from escaping through the chimney. When fires are burning, a mesh screen helps by preventing embers and sparks from popping into the room.
Burn Only Seasoned Wood
The firewood you burn in your fireplace should be low in moisture, which is another way of saying that the wood is “seasoned.” For firewood to dry out enough to be efficient fuel, there is usually a wait of between 6 months and a year or so. The problem with green wood is that all the fire’s energy goes to burn out the moisture. In addition, wet firewood creates a lot more combustion fumes, resulting in larger deposits of creosote in the chimney liner.
Creosote is highly flammable and can cause a chimney obstruction if chimney cleaning isn’t scheduled at least once per year. One of the most common causes of fireplace inefficiency is an obstruction in the chimney flue caused by creosote buildup.
Andirons create a metal frame that you set in the firebox with the fireplace grate. Andirons aren’t frequently included in recommendations on how to increase fireplace efficiency, but perhaps they should be. They improve function by lifting fires closer to the chimney, which creates a positive draft. Fires typically get more air when andirons are used, and that also increases the efficiency of the fireplace.
Contact Guardian Chimney Sweep
The friendly CSIA-certified chimney sweeps at Guardian Chimney Sweep can help you find your best answer to “how to increase fireplace efficiency.” The various options for improving fireplace efficiency offer a range of price points. The final decision ultimately rests on whether the deciding factor is sticking with low-cost solutions or going for maximum effectiveness. Contact us online or call Guardian Chimney Sweep at any of these numbers today.
Toll-free: (888) 306-6069
Conroe: (936) 271-9781
Houston: (713) 401-2011