Especially when it’s cold outside, there’s nothing like enjoying a cozy indoor fire. However, if you want to maintain safety and efficiency, there are a few parameters you’ll need to put in place. Consider the following six steps in improving fireplace efficiency.

1. Close the Doors

A fireplace sets a cozy mood. However, it serves as a heat source best. If you light the fireplace for at least 30 minutes and still can’t feel its warmth, one of the best ways to feel heat is by closing the doors. Depending on the fireplace’s location, it might work best in that room or on that floor. If you live in a multi-level home, start by closing the doors on the other levels. By closing off the other areas, you reduce the square footage the heat needs to circulate in. To fully close off a space, remember to also close the doors to pantries, coat closets and bathrooms. If you don’t need to heat an open floor plan, you can use it to your advantage by closing the doors to the room where the fireplace is located.

2. Skip Wood Fires

Wood-burning fires evoke a sense of nostalgia and warmth that is hard to replicate. However, it is important to consider the impact of your carbon footprint in your efforts to maintain optimal efficiency. Wood fires tend to produce more soot, ash and smoke as they burn. Therefore, it is recommended that you incorporate other options when you are ready to light a fire. Doing your research to learn more about alternative fuels and options to light your fireplace can be helpful. Gas pellets and logs are a great alternative that can provide the warmth you are looking for from a lit fireplace. By opting for these alternatives, you can enjoy the warmth of a fire while minimizing your carbon footprint. This simple change can make a significant difference in preserving our environment for future generations.

3. Use Seasoned Wood

If you cannot imagine lighting a fireplace without wood, consider using seasoned wood. Seasoned wood undergoes a specific drying process that allows it to burn with less smoke or ash. Moreover, it can generate more heat in a room compared to unseasoned wood. During its preparation, seasoned wood is dried out in a manner that removes moisture from the wood, causing it to burn more efficiently. This process can take up to six months or more, depending on the type of wood and the climate. By using seasoned wood, you can enjoy the warmth of your fireplace while minimizing the negative impact on the environment. It’s an easy and eco-friendly choice that can make a significant difference.

4. Use a Fireplace Grate

To ensure that your fireplace remains in good condition, it is essential to use a fireplace grate when preparing to light it up. Without a grate, the wood may come into direct contact with the floor of your fireplace, which can lead to severe damage. To avoid this, it is recommended that you invest in a high-quality fireplace grate that features lateral or horizontal bars with visible gaps between them. Using a fireplace grate helps to circulate heat underneath the fire, which in turn, increases the chances of better combustion. With better combustion, you can expect a hotter fire, which is perfect for those chilly winter nights. Therefore, it is crucial to have a well-designed fireplace grate that can enhance the overall fireplace experience while keeping it safe and well-maintained.

5. Clean the Chimney

If you love to light fires frequently, it’s crucial to get your chimney cleaned at least once a year. A clean chimney makes it easier for smoke, soot and other gases to escape. Otherwise, they may accumulate and cause a chimney fire. To prevent such mishaps and ensure safety and efficiency, you must get your chimney professionally cleaned and inspected annually. It’s a small price to pay for your safety and peace of mind. So, don’t take any chances and make sure you hire a professional chimney cleaning service to get the job done right. Always remember that prevention is better than cure.

6. Seal Drafty Areas

To prevent warm air from escaping, it is important to tightly close the fireplace damper when it is not in use. If you want to take extra measures, you can consider installing a chimney balloon or flue blocker to seal the chimney when the fireplace is not being used. This will help to minimize heat loss and keep your home more energy-efficient. With a properly functioning fireplace, you can enjoy the warmth and comfort it provides without worrying about energy waste. Make sure to check your damper regularly to ensure it is tightly closed and consider installing a chimney balloon or flue blocker to further improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Get Professional Assistance

The process of maintaining an efficient fireplace doesn’t have to be daunting. When you include the services of our professionals at Montgomery's Industrial Services, you’ll gain access to our wide range of fireplace solutions. From inserts to free-standing gas stoves, we’re ready to assist with your fireplace needs. We also provide services covering heating/cooling, electrical and plumbing for your Wingham or Hanover home. Contact us today to learn more.

Paul Montgomery


Paul Montgomery is the president of Montgomery's Industrial Services. Paul has been in the business since 1992.
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