Due to rising energy costs people are looking towards alternate
means to heat their home. Wood is one of the most popular choices
since it is easily obtainable and relatively inexpensive.
By burning wood in a masonry fireplace you probably think that
you are saving money, when in fact you are actually losing it.
On average, the normal homeowner's masonry fireplace is -15%
efficient when in use! This leads to heating bills being
more than $500 higher per winter than they should be. You might find yourself
saying "So what, I like the look and the ambiance of burning
real wood." Well who doesn't, but tell me how great burning
wood is when you see that first gas bill in the winter or even
your central air bill during the summer. Almost everybody
likes the look of a burning fireplace and everybody likes saving
money. So what we have done is put together some products
that will start saving you money from the first day you install
them. If used correctly, these products can transform
your fireplace from an inefficient aesthetically appealing unit,
to a money saving energy efficient fireplace.
A fireplace is most inefficient
when it is open all year round. A fireplace without
a damper or door is like having a window open all year
round! A damper is a plate that regulates the
draft in a chimney. There are two types of dampers
that we will be discussing in the following paragraphs.
Throat damper installs just above the firebox
and will drastically cut down on energy loss.
These dampers are made completely of metal and will
help lessen a draft, but will not give an airtight seal.
Throat dampers are typically installed when the fireplace
is first built. If done later, it would require
some major renovation work to the chimney, usually involving
hiring a mason or fireplace expert to install.
Over time damper plates warp or rust causing air to
This is why most homeowners prefer to purchase
the second type of damper, a
Top Sealing Damper. This type mounts on the
top of your chimney, similar to a chimney cap.
It is easier to install and comes with a rubber seal
to ensure your hard earned money doesn't escape your
Click here to see a short video on how a top sealing
damper will save you and your family money. You
wouldn't stand for having a window open all year round,
so why should your fireplace be any different.
a throat damper and cheaper than a door this product
will save you hundreds of dollars year round.
The Draft Eliminator is an inflatable draft stopper
that you can insert when you are not using your fireplace
to reduce heat loss. Easy to install only requiring
a few breaths of air to inflate and when you want to
use your fireplace, just open the air hole to deflate
and remove it. Get more information on the
|Easy to Use
In addition to being
an attractive addition to your home, fireplace doors
have many benefits. One of those benefits is burning
your fireplace with the doors shut. This cuts
down drastically on heat loss because your fireplace
is not using as much inside air for combustion.
Before using your glass doors I suggest reading your
manual so you are completely aware of the features and
limitations. Doors made with a thicker material
are less likely to discolor due to exposure to high heat.
All of our
Thermo-Rite doors come with a lifetime warranty
on the glass and a 5 year structural warranty.
Unlike a damper, at the end of the night your fireplace
doors can be shut when the fire dies down. On
average this saves you from 8 hours of heat loss that
gets sucked up through your chimney each night!
To make your fireplace even more efficient you can add
a grate heater.
See our wide selection of
We have talked about ways to save money when not using your
fireplace, but what about when you are using it. A relatively
inexpensive way to retrieve heat from your fireplace is with
the use of a
grate heater. There are various types of grate heaters
but the basic principle is the same. The hollow tubing
gets hot from the fire and a fan blows heat through the hollow
tubes and back into the room. Some are thermostatically
controlled so the fan will turn on automatically once the tubing
reaches a certain temperature. While in most cases these
units are not enough to heat your entire home, they will produce
between 10,000 to 40,000 BTU's, enough to heat a large room
and other parts of the home. Some can be used with fireplace
doors, making your fireplace even more efficient. A grate
heater is a must for anyone who has a wood burning fireplace.
Check out our wide selection of
If you are
looking to get the most possible heat your fireplace
is capable of, then a
fireplace insert might be just what you need. An average
masonry fireplace is about -15% efficient on average,
sucking out more heat than it can produce. A fireplace
insert will improve your efficiency up to 65%, and some
inserts will exceed this. Let's take a look at
some of the reasons why adding a
fireplace insert improves the overall efficiency of your fireplace.
For starters, a fireplace insert is designed like a
wood stove, air tight and used with the door shut.
Your living room is no longer losing mass amounts of
heated air up your chimney. Also, inserts have
an air draft control. For this reason you
get a more controlled burn, where energy and money is
saved while creating less emissions. No more heat
shooting up the chimney because you are unable to control
the amount of combustion air your fireplace is receiving.
Another great feature is that most
inserts have a powerful fan system. Some consist
of one or more blowers, with the top of the line systems
being thermostatically controlled and heat activated.
Talk about efficiency!
Outdoor Air Intake
outside air intake is probably the most overlooked money
saving solution. Just like any fire, your fireplace
requires oxygen for the wood to burn. When in use,
your fireplace will draw inside air to combust the fire.
Whether it be heated air sitting dormant in your home or
pulling in outside air from the small cracks in your doors
and windows, this situation is very inefficient. The
best way to solve this problem is controlling where the
outside air is drawn in from to eliminate uncomfortable
drafts and high gas bills. Let's face it, who wants to
spend hundreds of dollars each month just to watch all the
heat get sucked from your home and up the chimney? By
outside air intake next to your fireplace you can reduce
the amount of space that the cool air has to travel through
the home and reduce uncomfortable drafts. The results
are amazing, lower gas bills and a comfortable living
We have taken the time to go over all of the different
solutions for making a wood burning fireplace more
efficient and now have a good understanding of what
these products can do for us. Now comes the
hardest part, weighing out the choices and making a
decision on what product or products will best suit
your needs. The first step I always take
before making a purchase is deciding what product
will best fix my problem. Which product will
not only suit my home's need for efficiency, but
which one will save me the most money. The
next step is cost. Don't get caught up in the
initial price. Remember these products will
save you money! Just because a product is the
most expensive doesn't mean it is always the best
solution for you. Finally, is what I like to
call "Ease of installation." Basically, how
easy is it to use this product? A Draft
Eliminator is a great product that is relatively
inexpensive, but requires installing it over and
over again as opposed to a top sealing damper that
is more expensive but, you only have to install
Your factors in purchasing a product might rank different
than the steps I use, but surely if you take all of them
into account you will be getting the right product.
More importantly, you will be solving the problem of having
a beautiful but inefficient fireplace.