Fireplaces and Chimneys

It’s the time of year when it feels cozy to be sitting around a fire.  While there’s no replacement for the ambiance for an open fire, the crackle and radiant heat, most open fireplaces are not a good source of heat.

Fire needs oxygen to burn and all the smoke going out your chimney is matched by the air entering your home (what goes out must come in).

A chimney acts as a conduit for air and drafts the warm room air out and draws cold outside air into the home, even with glass doors around the fireplace opening. So what can you do to limit the heat lost through your fireplace?

  • When the fire’s out (totally out), make sure the chimney damper is closed.
  • Supply outside air to minimize the amount of heated interior air being drawn up the chimney flue. If you do not have outside air feed, open a window near the fire.
  • Set back the thermostat while a fire is burning. Otherwise, the draw may cool down walls away from the fireplace causing the furnace to over-operate to compensate for cooler wall temperature.

Enjoy your warm fire on wintry days, but make sure your fireplace is not sabotaging your electric bill.

Rich, Energy Service Specialist

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