A fireplace is a great alternative heating system for your home and can improve your home’s aesthetics, but it is not as efficient as a whole-home system like a furnace. However, there are a few things that you can do to improve a fireplace’s efficiency. Read on as Batts’ Chimney Services shares some tips.
1. Only use dry wood. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you may already have noticed that some types of firewood burn better than others. Only use firewood that is properly dried and is fit for the purpose. Avoid using any other kind of wood, including green, rotten or moldy wood. Also, never use manufactured materials like MDF (medium-density fiberboard), plywood or composites, as they emit fumes that may be harmful to your home’s occupants.
2. Let the wood acclimate before each fire. If you keep your firewood outside, bring it inside for several hours (or even a day) before starting a fire in your fireplace. Even when dry, cold wood is harder to burn. Bringing it up to room temperature before burning can help you get the most heat out of your fireplace.
3. Have your chimney swept regularly. Have your chimney professionally swept at least once a year. In addition to keeping it clean, this also helps prevent problems caused by a dirty or blocked chimney such as reduced efficiency and trapped gases (including carbon monoxide) and smoke. The main cause of dirty or blocked chimneys is creosote or tar that comes from burning wood.
4. Make sure the damper is fully opened before each fire. The damper is like the door that prevents rainwater, debris and small animals from getting into your home through the chimney. It also helps prevent heat gain during seasons when you’re not using your fireplace. Make sure that the damper is open when you start a fire to make sure that there is airflow that helps get the fire going. This also helps prevent smoke and gases from spreading into your home.
Batts’ Chimney Services provides chimney services, including chimney inspections, to customers in the Greater Birmingham area and Northern Alabama. Give us a call at (256) 660-1338 or (205) 956-8207. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.