Can Fireplaces Affect Your Heating Bill?

Traditional fireplaces are one of the most popular home heating sources around the world. It creates one of the best cozy ambiances on a cold winter day. It is something about the warmth, the glow, and the flames’ crackling as it burns down the wood has a relaxing effect on everyone, providing comfort as much as physical warmth.

Traditional Fireplaces can be cheaper as electricity costs keep increasing. Just purchasing firewood can be cheaper than heating your home using utilities that depend on other fuels, which provides an opportunity to be less dependent on utility companies. You may even have an endless supply of free firewood just around your house. But as you should know, even how popular fireplaces can be, the wrong design and build for your fireplace can cost you more in your heating bills.

Traditional Fireplaces were designed into homes and provided heat to a room well before central heating systems were even a concept. Now fireplaces’ warmth is usually more for a show. These fireplaces’ designs are not efficient because most of the heat and hot air produced escapes through the chimney, and worse, the hot air rising creates an updraft taking hot air from your room too through the chimney and cycles in cold air back inside. This cold air cycle causes extra stress and makes your heating system compensate for the fireplace’s inefficiency, and as your heating system keeps running, it also increases your heating bills.

Improving Your Fireplace Efficiency

The traditional fireplace can be very inefficient, but people are unwilling to give up the smell, glow, and ambiance created by the burning wood in fireplaces. You may be one of them, and who are we to stop you. Here are some ways to improve the efficiency of your fireplace.

  1. Have your chimney inspected.

A. Check for damages and needs for repairs — It is essential to know if your chimney is in good shape. Having rusty dampers, damaged caps, mortar, bricks, or surrounding shingles can cause problems when using your chimney and result in water leaks, downdrafts, and safety issues. 

B. Check if your chimney needs cleaning — Chimney filled with soot and creosote, this can block your chimney and cause a fire hazard, this also prevents proper ventilation and airway for your fire to keep burning properly.

  1. Have glass doors installed.

Glass doors act as a barrier between your chimney and your room. At the same time, allowing heat from the fire to radiate to the room. The glass door also prevents hot conditioned air from your room from passing through with the updraft created in the fireplace. Preventing the updraft of hot air stops the cycle of cold air into the room.  

  1. Have outside combustion air vents.

Outside combustion air vents prevent the air from the heated room from being drawn to the fire. Instead, it draws air from the outside of the heated room. Combustion air vents work well with the glass doors.

  1. Have fireplace inserts installed.

Having a fireplace insert installed is the best method of increasing the efficiency of a traditional fireplace. Inserts are usually with glass or metal doors, outside combustion air vents, and heat circulation blowers. The inserts work by drawing air from the outside, helping the fire burn at a higher temperature, and limiting the lost heat up the chimney. Inserts are usually used on chimneys that are regularly being used. A professional is typically required to install fireplace inserts.