5 Tips for Wood Fireplace Safety and Efficiency
The ambiance of a wood fire is as therapeutic as it is mesmerizing. The pleasant scent of fresh maple, apple, oak, hickory and other appealing fire woods leaves a cozy, calm and inviting feeling. But although temperatures of a wood-burning fireplace can soar to over 1,100°F, it’s not the most efficient way to heat your home. In fact, most of the generated heat is lost through the chimney. Fortunately, we have a few tips that will maximize the safety and efficiency of your wood-burning fireplace.
Keep the Damper Closed When the Fire is Out
The damper is located at the chimney’s neck, just above the fireplace. Its function is to regulate air flow through the chimney. When starting a fire, the damper should be completely open to provide the oxygen needed for combustion. Keeping the damper open also prevents smoke and pollution from coming inside your home. However, many homeowners forget to close the damper after the fire burns out. This allows the heated air to escape right out the chimney. Closing the damper when the fire burns out will contain the heat inside the fireplace provide several hours of warmth and comfort.
Only Burn Seasoned Firewood
Just because it burns, doesn’t make it a good source of heat. Chopping unseasoned wood from your backyard and tossing it directly into your fireplace is an energy waster. The high moisture content of unseasoned wood burns fast with very little heat with more smoke and pollution. It also creates more creosote in the chimney which is a safety hazard. For you to achieve maximum heat, you should burn high-quality, dry woods with a moisture content of 20% or less. Seasoned wood burns slower and hotter with less emissions, thus increasing your heat output and safety.
Install Tempered Glass Fireplace Doors
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, then investing in tempered glass doors is a good idea. Why? Because it helps to maximize the heat efficiency of a fireplace. A quality tempered glass fireplace door acts as both a safety barrier and a heat conductor. This gives you the benefit of enjoying the flames without the risk of hot embers and ash being tossed into your living room. Professional installation is highly recommended to ensure the glass door is installed properly and securely.
Insulate Your Chimney
Consider insulating your chimney liner. This will help contain the heat created through the combustion process until it is vented through the chimney. This minimizes moisture and creosote buildup on the chimney walls. After insulating your chimney, you’ll start noticing the benefits immediately. The fire will light faster and burn cleaner with more heat. Plus, your home will feel warmer even when you’re not burning a fire, especially if your fireplace damper is shut.
Have Your Chimney Cleaned At Least Once a Year
Creosote buildup inside the chimney decreases the heat efficiency of a wood-burning fireplace. As creosote layers thicken, they restrict the flue so there is no longer adequate free space to vent the fireplace properly. It’s also the most common cause of chimney fires. Even small accumulations can restrict ventilation and cause a fire hazard. Ventilation is very important because it helps in removing smoke and other toxic contaminants from your home.
Cleaning your chimney at least once a year by a certified chimney sweep eliminates the creosote buildup, and other ventilation problems for a safer and more efficient fire.
Enjoy a safer and warmer winter season by implementing one or more of the above tips. If you have any questions or need help with your wood-burning fireplace, visit your FyrePro store and receive personalized service from our local experts for over 30 years.