How to Increase Heat from a Wood-Burning Fireplace
Many homeowners come to the sad realization that their fireplaces have superficial qualities. They are great to look at and provide a great backdrop for a cozy scene, but they don’t provide any real heat substance. In fact, the efficiency rating of a traditional fireplace is about 10%, which means 90% or more of the heat from the fire is going up the chimney. The good news is that you can get more from your fireplace, which will give you an even greater affection for the ambiance nothing else can provide like a crackling fire.
Steps to improving traditional fireplace efficiency
If you are going to work with your masonry fireplace as is, there are things you can do to feel more of the heat and get more enjoyment out of fires in winter.
· Make sure the damper is fully open. This helps to increase the air getting to the fire, which improves combustion. An open damper also helps to create a stronger draft, to carry combustion byproducts up and out of the chimney.
· Keep ashes cleaned up to ensure that there is air getting to the fire from underneath.
· Burn only seasoned firewood. If you burn green or freshly cut wood, it has too much moisture. Fires with green wood produce a lot of smoke yet very little heat. Seasoning firewood takes between six months to a year or more, if the wood is in the right conditions to allow the moisture to dry up.
· Get your chimney inspected annually and have it cleaned, as needed. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), a chimney should be cleaned when there is a creosote buildup of 1/8” or more in the chimney flue. When your flue is clean and unobstructed, the entire chimney operates more efficiently.
· If you want to your fire to burn hot and create lingering coals, burn Douglas fir. Oak and maple are energy-dense hardwoods but don’t burn as hot.
Have a fireplace insert installed
To transform your fireplace into a viable supplemental heat source that can help you cut energy costs, have a fireplace insert installed. It requires having accurate measurements made, and the insert is built specifically to fit into your current firebox. It is essential for the insert to be directly connected to the flue liner. Oftentimes, it is necessary to have a new liner installed, so that it’s the size recommended by the manufacturer. Instead of about 10% efficiency, a fireplace insert achieves between 70% and 80% efficiency.
Moving the hot air from the fireplace
Another way to increase your appreciation of your fireplace is to create an atmosphere in which the heat can circulate through your home. The following are a few ways to get the air moving:
· Switch the direction of your ceiling fans so that it pushes the hot air back down into the room.
· It also creates a convection reaction that provides more warmth if you set up a box fan facing the fireplace area and turn it on low.
· You can move heat from your fireplace into other rooms by installing transoms over your doorways. These are windows without glass.
If you’re ready to get more out of your fireplace, contact us at FyrePro. We have a full-service store, and we provide professional installation of all products we sell.
Visit our FyrePro showroom located at 4631 S Mason Street, Fort Collins, CO. Our number is (970) 266-8556. Contact us for any questions you may have about a new wood-burning appliance.