According to the Energy Information Administration, the cost of electricity will increase by 20%-60% this winter. These increases come in the wake of several other price increases over the last few years.
These prices won’t damage all parts of the US equally. Some climates have more temperate temperatures that rarely drop below freezing. However, it will be much more expensive to heat houses for others.
Fortunately, there is a way to be more energy efficient when heating your home. Many people discover that a traditional fireplace can increase energy efficiency and eliminate extra costs.
The question is, how can you make your fireplace more efficient? You can discover answers to this question in this guide. Read on to find the tips and tricks you need!
Use Your Fireplace Dampers to Make Fire More Energy Efficient
Dampers play a critical role in traditional fireplace setups. These metal devices keep air, moisture, and debris out of your firebox while not using the fireplace.
Opening your dampers can ensure air gets to the fire while it’s still burning. This way, the fire can continue to burn for an extended period. However, many people forget to close the damper after they put out their fires.
This practice makes your fire less efficient. When the damper remains open, it releases the heat generated by your fire through the chimney.
In other words, it prevents the fire from keeping your home heated after you’ve put it out. So, close your dampers immediately after putting out your fire. This practice will seal the heat inside your home and help it remain heated.
Use Glass Doors to Increase Energy Efficiency
Fireplace glass doors are another tool you can use to increase energy efficiency. Think of them as partners to your dampers.
Fireplace glass doors should remain open when you’re burning your fire. This step allows the heat and smoke to flow into your home more evenly. In contrast, burning your fire with closed glass doors causes smoke and soot to build in your chimney.
However, glass doors can supplement your dampers when the fire dies down. You can’t close your dampers until the fire has completely died down.
In contrast, you can shut your glass doors as the fire begins to fade. This practice can seal even more heat from the fire into your home.
Burn Seasoned Firewood in Your Wood Burning Fireplace
Another way to improve fireplace efficiency is to burn seasoned wood. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, it basically means fully dried wood.
Unseasoned firewood includes wood that remains moist or wet. This wood will not burn efficiently; instead, it will generate unnecessary levels of smoke and less heat. Finally, unseasoned wood burns too quickly.
Wood sellers dry seasoned wood for at least six months before using it. Its decreased moisture content allows it to burn slower at higher temperatures.
Likewise, seasoned firewood produces less smoke and soot for your fireplace. This reduction allows your chimney to remain cleaner and makes the fire more eco friendly.
Invest in Fireplace Maintenance
Cleaning your fireplace and chimney can tremendously improve your fireplace’s efficiency. The soot that builds up in your flue lining can hinder the draft, which affects how well your fire burns. Usually, this buildup causes your fire to burn weakly.
Likewise, a fraction of an inch of soot buildup can cause your fireplace to lose a significant amount of efficiency. That’s why fireplace maintenance is so critical to your energy efficiency.
There are several techniques you can use to clean your fireplace. First, you can clean the bottom of the flue with a wire brush. This step alone will clear out significant soot buildup.
Next, you can sweep up the debris from within the fireplace with a broom or a dustpan. If it’s available, you can also sweep your smoke shelf.
Additionally, you may find it helpful to reattach your damper. Reattaching it can ensure it works more efficiently by closing and opening correctly.
Use a Fireplace Insert
Fireplace inserts are an excellent tool for increasing your fireplace’s heating capacity. Traditional masonry fireplaces expel the majority of their generated heat through the chimney.
Adding an EPA-certified fireplace insert essentially adds a wood-burning stove to your fireplace’s masonry. Fireplace inserts fit directly inside the openings of fireplaces. From there, it uses a self-contained heating appliance to retain most of the heat it generates.
Another advantage of these inserts is that they use significantly less fuel than other methods. It’s also a more eco-friendly device, especially when you find one approved by the EPA.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fan Circulation to Spread Warmth Through the Home
Running your ceiling fan can help your fireplace spread heat throughout the home. However, it can only work if you reverse your ceiling fan’s circulation.
The standard ceiling fan rotation runs in a counterclockwise circle. Doing so cools down your space and makes the fire less effective.
In contrast, reversing your ceiling fan’s rotation causes it to run in a clockwise direction. This circulation causes an updraft, allowing your heat to spread more efficiently throughout the home.
Consider Installing a New Energy Efficient Fireplace
Each of these steps can make your fireplace more energy efficient. However, what if you don’t currently have a fireplace to fall back on? Or what if your current fireplace is damaged?
That’s where we come in. We’ve helped homeowners throughout Pennsylvania receive the fireplaces they need.
We can install wood-burning fireplaces as well as gas and electric models. We also service both homes and commercial buildings.
So, don’t hesitate! Contact us today to receive a new fireplace this winter.