If you love to cozy up to warm fireplace on cold winter nights, make sure you're not letting energy escape out the chimney along with the smoke - a wood-burning fireplace is one of the most inefficient ways to heat a room.
Here's why: hot air rises, so the majority of the air warmed by the fire goes straight up the chimney. Only a small percentage finds its way into the room. The warm air leaving the room is replaced by cold air from other areas of the house.
In fact, a wood-burning fireplace can exhaust as much as 24,000 cubic feet of air to the outside in just a few hours!
That means if your primary heating system is running while the fireplace is going, you're consuming energy to heat air that's being drawn into the fireplace and right up the chimney.
If you can't bear to give up your wood-burning fireplace, follow these tips to reduce your energy loss:
Keep the damper closed whenever the fireplace isn't in use. Leaving a damper open is the equivalent of keeping a two-foot-square window wide open.
Check the seal on the damper by closing it off and holding a tissue inside the firebox. If drafts blow the tissue around, repair or replace the damper.
When using the fireplace, turn your thermostat down to 55 degrees, close doors leading into the room, and crack open a window to allow fresh air to circulate.
Tight-fitting glass doors can prevent air from escaping out the chimney; they also improve the combustion efficiency while the fire is going.
Add caulking around the fireplace hearth