How to Make a Fireplace More Energy Efficient

Energy costs are soaring! While homeowners are frantically looking for ways to save money, most don't realize that their dollars are readily escaping through one of the biggest holes in their home - their fireplace. By making four simple home improvements, this problem can be eliminated.


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    Install a top-sealing chimney damper. Top-sealing dampers replace the fireplace throat damper and are installed at the top of the chimney. The top-sealing damper has a seal that acts like a storm door, keeping the expensive conditioned air inside the house and the outside air – outside. This principle works year-round, whether you’re heating or cooling your house. This product can be purchased online and is easily installed by either a homeowner or a handyman.
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    Install a fireback - a cast iron plate that is placed at the back of your fireplace. Its purpose is to protect the back wall from fire damage, and usually features a design that adds to the home's décor. The fireback improves the fireplace's efficiency by absorbing the heat from the fire and radiating the heat back into the room.
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    Install a fireplace heater system. A fireplace heater system pulls fresh air from the room, circulates it through a chamber that is heated by the fire, and then blows the heated air back into the room. These heaters are closed systems, so no smoke from the fireplace is invading the home. Depending on which kind you purchase, these heaters can make a significant difference in your home's temperature, even heating a full room on its own. Specific fireplace heaters can be installed with fireplace glass doors, saving you even more money.
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    Install fireplace glass doors. These will likely carry the largest investment, but you can reduce some of that cost by doing some of the work yourself. There are a number of fireplace doors that can be purchased online and come with easy-to-follow installation instructions. The fireplace glass door creates a barrier between the living space and the chimney, thus reducing the area that your furnace will have to heat. This alone is a good reason to install these doors, but it’s not the only reason. Fireplace glass doors offer another level of safety for the home by protecting children and pets from the fire. If you have a wood burning fireplace, you will want to purchase the screen mesh that is designed to go with the fireplace glass doors. This will allow you to have the doors open while the fire is burning while still protecting your home from sparks and embers.

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Categories: Efficient Energy Use