Improving fireplace efficiency is an excellent way to save money during the winter months, as it means that less fuel will need to be burned to generate heat. Additionally, better efficiency from your fireplace usually means releasing less pollutants into the atmosphere, which in addition to reduced consumption, makes it an environmentally-friendly choice that helps both the planet and your local air quality.
Some simple steps can improve fireplace efficiency drastically, allowing you to keep your living space warmer while burning less. One of the first steps is reducing the amount of heat lost through the chimney when there is no fire burning. This can best be done by installing glass windows in the front of the fireplace, which will allow you to seal off the fireplace when it’s not in use, making sure heat from the inside isn’t bleeding away up the chimney.
Unlike having a stove or installing metal doors, glass windows will still allow you to enjoy the visual aesthetic of your fireplace, while gaining much of the benefit of a closed stove system. When a fire is burning, glass windows will actually help conduct the heat into your room in a distributed fashion, making this a technique to improve your fireplace efficiency both while the fireplace is in use and while it is dormant.
An extremely simple step that can be taken to make your fireplace more efficient is to simply find the nearest window to the fireplace and to open it just a little bit. At the same time, if the fireplace is in a closed room like a den, you can close the doors to the rest of the house, making the room a closed system. Having the window slightly open means that the fireplace will draw colder air from the outside if it needs to, rather than drawing in already heated air and losing much of that heat through the chimney.
An even better step to improve fireplace efficiency, if you have the ability, is to install a special intake next to the fire. This intake can pull air in directly from the outdoors, rather than having to pull it through the room from a nearby open window. This ensures greater efficiency by keeping warm air in the house where it belongs, and setting up a flow of warm air coming out of the fireplace into the house, rather than having the fireplace constantly sucking in warm air and losing it through the chimney.
Many devices can also be purchased to improve fireplace efficiency. A radiant fireplace grate, for example, holds the logs up off the ground of the fireplace, making sure more heat is disbursed out into the room, improving efficiency quite dramatically for a very small investment. Electric fans can also be purchased and installed in the form of grate blowers or tube heaters, which will constantly push hot air out into the room, decreasing the amount of heat lost through the chimney and improving overall fireplace performance.