Wood-burning fireplaces can add a cozy effect to your home this winter. You can enjoy comforting light and heat from this feature. But have you noticed that your fireplace does not work as well as you think it should?
If your fireplace does not seem to be burning as intensely as it once did, you can engage in efforts to improve its effectiveness. Smoke problems might point to a larger chimney structure issue, but you can also make better choices as you use the fireplace too. Read on to find advice from your local chimney expert to make your fireplace more energy efficient.
Tips for Improving Your Fireplace’s Efficiency
Choose Proper Wood Types
The wood you choose to burn in your fireplace will have a major effect on the intensity of the fire. You will want to select fully dried wood for your fire in order to have the most efficient burn.
Even slightly damp wood will take away the fire’s energy as it works to remove moisture instead of generating heat. Ideally, you should age firewood for six to 18 months before burning it if you want optimal results. Then you will know it is completely dry.
The type of tree used in firewood will also impact the efficiency of the burn. Oak, ash, beech, and other hardwood trees will burn hotter and slower. This means you can have a fire that lasts longer and provides the benefits you seek from your fireplace more effectively.
Use Your Damper Correctly
Your fireplace comes with a damper, a feature within your chimney that you can open and close depending on when you utilize your fireplace. When using your fireplace, keep the damper set to open to allow outside air to flow down your chimney and feed your fire. Then you can experience a hotter blaze.
Close your damper when not using your fireplace. This will prevent drafts from coming down the flue of your chimney and into your home. It could impact your central heating and cooling system, cranking up your energy bill.
Contact your local chimney sweep for regular inspections to ensure your damper works as it should. If your damper does not open and shut properly, your fire may not burn as well as you would prefer.
Schedule Routine Chimney Cleanings
A fire will naturally produce creosote in its smoke that will collect into soot within the fireplace and chimney over time. This build-up can decrease the efficiency of fires over time because it starts to clog the flue and impact heat transfer.
Experts suggest scheduling a chimney sweep to clean the flue and remove creosote build-up on an annual basis. This makes your home appear and feel cleaner and improves the safety of your fireplace.
Call your chimney sweep company today to get a quote for an inspection and cleaning of your flue. The chimney sweep can look for potential leaks, cracks, or other structural issues during this appointment that may also impact the efficiency of your fire.