Nobody would argue that there’s plenty of fireplace warmth as you sit by the hearth on a cold rainy night, but as you move away, the comfort gradually stops. Given how fast the cool air replaces the warm, it’s hard to believe that it would be possible to heat your home, even a part of it, with a fireplace.
Some fireplaces do a better job than others at radiating enough heat into the room. If yours isn’t one of them, based on your attempts at trying to warm your home on a day when the power is out, consider these upgrades to get more out of it.
Keep it clean.
Maybe all it needs is a little attention from the chimney sweep or fireplace professional. Creosote collects inside the chimney of a wood burning fireplace and should be removed annually to prevent fires and increase the amount of air that can go up the chimney. As creosote builds, it closes up the chimney, which slows the burning process and reduces fireplace warmth.
Use heat exchangers.
A heat exchanger is a fundamental part of combustion heating systems like furnaces and boilers. It’s the part that transfers the heat from the burner inside the typical furnace to the air blowing over it. Choices for fireplaces include fireplace inserts that let you extract the heat from the fireplace’s walls or a metal grate that radiates much more heat than the typical fireplace does.
Replace the screen with glass doors.
The doors will keep the heat in the room from escaping up the fireplace chimney. The fire creates its own suction and it will pull the hot air from your home up and out the chimney. The glass doors prevent the air you’ve paid to heat with the furnace from escaping. In fact, it’s a good idea to keep the doors closed year-round to keep the heated or cooled air from escaping.
Enjoying fireplace warmth is a seasonal treat for San Antonio residents and if you’d like to get more from yours, contact Beyer Boys, providing HVAC services for area homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).