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Nothing is quite as cozy as a fire on a cold winter's day. Unfortunately, most traditional fireplaces are notoriously inefficient at heating. They may actually increase drafts in a house by drawing room air through the mouth of the fireplace and sending it up the chimney, along with as much as 90 percent of the heat generated by the fire. An efficient fireplace should safely contain that cozy fire, encourage the fuel to burn, exhaust smoke, and deliver warmth to the room.
A traditional fireplace heats by radiation. Radiant heat from the fire warms objects in a room, but not the air.
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How Can You Increase Your Fireplace Energy Efficiency?
There are many ways to increase the efficiency of your fireplace. However, in any case it's best to let a professional handle these tasks.
To optimize your fireplace for energy efficiency consider:
- Converting a wood-burning fireplace into a gas fireplace
- Installing an insert that will make the fireplace more energy-efficient
- Having a professional inspect the brickwork around your fireplace mantle
- Inpecting and repairing your chimneys
- Hiring a chimney sweep to keep your fireplace clean and safe with regular maintenance