As much as we love the beauty of a fireplace it’s original purpose is still to provide heat. By using glass doors, inserts, and the right wood we’ll discuss how to improve fireplace heating efficiency while maintaining its aesthetic.
How to Improve Fireplace Heating Efficiency to Better Heat Your Home
Most homeowners would agree that they would like to increase their fireplace efficiency but are unsure what’s available and effective. Others may be concerned that efficiency may come at the price of visual appeal. We’ll provide options for both traditional and gas fireplaces that preserve their beauty and review universal ways to prevent heat loss.
How to Improve Traditional Fireplace Efficiency
Knowing how to increase fireplace heat output in a wood-burning fireplace can be difficult as airflow, wood quality, and burning rates are so variable. However, these methods demonstrate how to improve fireplace heating efficiency while taking these unique conditions into account:
Install a fireplace insert: An insert can be considered one of the best methods for how to get the most heat from a fireplace. These stainless steel inserts can be single or double-lined, sealing off the fireplace’s interior and chimney and radiating heat into a room.
Only burn dry wood: “Green” or newly cut wood still retains a lot of moisture, creating an inefficient burn and increased smoke. Make sure your wood is “seasoned,” or cut at least a year ago, and stored in a dry setting. Consider burning hardwood like oak, maple or hickory for a slower, more efficient burn.
Replace your screen with a glass door: A fire is less able to pull warm air from a room when it burns behind closed glass doors. While its heat output may be less, there is still a gain in efficiency.
While the beauty of a wood-burning fireplace is indisputable, if efficiency is your main priority a gas fireplace could better suit your needs.
Replace a tempered glass front with ceramic glass: This material is stronger and more efficient at transmitting heat from the gas flame into a room.
Ensure proper insulation: Make sure the gas fireplace insert is properly insulated with a vapor barrier and drywall. This will prevent heat being in the wall’s interior.
Maintain your blower: If your gas fireplace has a blower, make sure it’s inspected annually. Inspections will remove buildup and dust that can restrict the blower’s ability to propel heated air.
Image from Napoleon Fireplaces
How to Prevent Fireplace Heat Loss
Understanding how to get the most heat from a fireplace involves knowing how to keep heat from going up the chimney and keeping warm air in a room. These tips can help prevent heat loss and further show how to improve fireplace heating efficiency:
Install a fireplace insert. The U. S. Department of Energy states that this can improve a fireplace’s heat output by as much as 60%.
Use a heat-resistant caulk around the fireplace hearth.
Close all doors to the room where the fire is burning to contain heat.
Open the window closest to the fireplace by 1 inch and lower the thermostat to 50-55°F while the fire is burning. This reduces the amount of warm room air the fire pulls in and prevents inefficient overheating.
Adjust your damper to the size of your fire, narrowing it for smaller flames.
A fireplace can be a beautiful focal point and gathering spot. However, knowing how to improve fireplace heating efficiency can truly make it an asset to your home.