how to use a fireplace to heat your home

Made of cast-iron, these large metal reflectors sit against the back wall of your fireplace and help improve the efficiency of its heat production. Turn up the gas fireplace. For homeowners looking to zone heat their living rooms, a vented gas fireplace is a great option. A gas fireplace works too, and is more efficient than a wood-burning fireplace. If you’re not using your fireplace regularly, inflatable plugs can stop warm air from going up the chimney when the fireplace is not in use. Home Carbon Monoxide Risks: How to Stay Safe This Fall! There are several types of fireplaces and each product a varying amount of heat for your home. Estimated cost: $50 to $70. Make sure the stack takes up no more than half the height of your fireplace. The first is the simplest: Place water on top of your fireplace – preferably in a safe kettle-like container. If the system hasn’t been recently inspected, hire a chimney sweep certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) to do the job. The most important part of an unvented gas fireplace is to install it on larger rooms with good air flow to help prevent oxygen depletion or air quality risks. Your fireplace’s effectiveness can vary dramatically based on the size and shape of your home. Summer Fireplace Maintenance Tips: Preparing Your Fireplace for the Cold Ahead. Gas options will reward you with much more heat, and can be relatively inexpensive to operate. Let the fire burn for as long as you’d like. But one thing is for sure, a gas fireplace should have its heat output match the living room size, the area climate and the house's insulation level. Tips for Heating Your Home with a Fireplace #1. For these reasons, if your goal is to warm the home using a fireplace, you’ll be better off with another option. Heat is evenly distributed through the home without the use of ductwork or forced air. Here’s the proper technique for how to use a fireplace, with safety precautions every homeowner should know. To emit less smoke and soot, make sure the wood is dry, well-seasoned, and split a minimum of six months ago. You may be able to modify existing vents to … A normal fireplace loses 90% of it's heat through the chimney and installing a new more efficient fireplace can cost thousands of dollars. Only a qualified heater-mason contractor should build a masonry heater. Copyright © 2020 Acton Media Inc. All rights reserved. On one hand, this makes them incredibly efficient for heating your home. If your home has limitations that prevent a vented fireplace from being installed, you're not out of luck. It’s just a matter of using it to bring some much-desired warmth into your home. It’s less efficient than redistributing with ceiling fans, but for smaller, open concept houses, it’s a great way to star warm. If you choose to burn wood, consider using seasoned firewood. And that's where a direct vent system comes in.'' Burn Seasoned Wood. There is a powerful fan attached to the fireplace that will pull the heat away from the fireplace and push it to a room further away or even, down in the basement. As creosote builds up in your chimney, it restricts airflow to your fire. Don’t close the damper until the fire is completely out and all the embers have stopped burning. Enjoy. Disclosure: BobVila.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. You can feel the heat when you are sitting very close, and that is about it. If you plan to make zone heating a major part of your home life, invest in a fireplace that's efficient for heating. Stay healthy! There is some confusion... Fireplace with … A crackling fire roaring merrily away in a fireplace … It is best to design the home around a masonry heater to get the maximum efficiency. There are two types of gas fireplaces that you can choose from: vented or unvented. STEP 3: Open the Damper puff-backs, which can coat your room in filthy soot. Make sure the flue isn’t blocked by obstructions like an animal’s nest, especially if this is your first time using the fireplace. It also increases your risk of dangerous chimney fires or puff-backs, which can coat your room in filthy soot. When you use a wood-burning fireplace, you need to only burn seasoned wood. Featured in news stories on CBS, in Time, Scientific American, New York Times. With the recent concerns about COVID-19, Doctor Flue has implemented additional measures to ensure the safety and health of our crew and clients. Select a mixture of both hardwoods and softwoods. STEP 1: Stay Safe Use a non-functional fireplace to heat up your home decor. The draft should reverse after a few minutes, making your fireplace ready for action. If you turn on the heat to get warm in your living room, and then head to your bedroom to sleep, what use is there in heating every other room in your house? There’s a really awesome alternative out there that’s easy to use and sometimes doesn’t even require a vent. If your fireplace or stove are on one end of your house, don’t expect the other end to be just as warm. In fact, an unvented gas fireplace will return essentially all of the heat it produces back into your home. On its own, a wood burning fireplace is the least efficient of all fireplaces for producing heat. Only burn tinder (such as pine needles or tiny sticks), kindling (small sticks or pinecones), and fuel (large logs, up to about 14” long). We did the research to help find you the best gas fireplaces around. I like the idea of a thermostat-controlled fireplace insert but I'm skeptical that something like this could heat … Heating your home using your fireplace starts with air flow. However, due to the amount of heat that is pulled out through the chimney in a wood burning fireplace, it can surprisingly decrease the heat in your home. Store the container outdoors away from the house, and not in garages or on decks. However, a fireplace can easily be used for what’s known as “zone heating.”. These drawbacks often mean your choice comes down to whether or not your home can support the installation of a vented fireplace. COVID-19 Notice: Doctor Flue Remains Open for Business, Cracked Chimney, Critters & Other Winter Chimney Risks, a professional can install a new gas fireplace in your home, never to burn non-wood products in your fireplace. Zone heating is exactly what it sounds like – heating specific areas of your home. But when you need to dispose of ashes, proceed with caution. Heating your house using your fireplace is pretty simple. Only burn natural materials in your fireplace; never introduce foreign substances, including cardboard, newspaper, or paper trash. Don't remember the last time you had your chimney cleaned? Coals may take several hours or several days to completely cool, and ash could still be burning during that time. Even if you could generate that much heat with a fireplace, it would be far less efficient than central air due to the distance it would have to travel in your open home. This will impact the heat and efficiency of your fireplace. Do not burn pine in your fireplace because it causes creosote buildup and puts your home at risk for chimney fires. Now add your smallest pieces of wood, making sure these pieces are very dry. But it takes a lot of wood to keep your home warm. Not only do you get to enjoy a nice, roaring fire, you’ll also realize substantial savings on your next heating bill! Simply put, a fireplace located in the center of a relatively small house with few rooms will typically perform much better than a fireplace located at the far end of a large house with multiple rooms. We offer chimney services and products in Michigan and Ohio and can inspect your chimney and identify any potential risks. As winter swings into full force and thermometers dip past the freezing point, your home will need some help to stay warm. Fireplace Safety Check. Before bringing out the lighter, it’s vital to understand safety precautions for using a fireplace. Green or fresh-cut wood will make... Use a fireplace insert. The fireplace salesman naturally said that his solution is the best (citing something about fireplace inserts offering better energy/heat transference efficiency than central heating). A--Although they add a nice warm glow to a room, a fireplace, especially a wood-burning fireplace, usually draws more heat out of a home than it adds. How to Use a Fireplace for the First Time. This fan keeps an efficient flow of warmth circulating through your room. When you use a... #3. Use the damper to its potential. You agree that BobVila.com may process your data in the manner described by our Privacy Policy. But while wood-burning fireplaces should give you long-lasting and evenly burning flames, one simple mistake can fill your living room with smoke—or even spark a dangerous house fire. While there are many ways to accomplish this, the simplest is to use the room in which your fireplace is built. In addition to being remotely controllable, vented gas fireplaces are extremely efficient. For one, an unvented gas fireplace puts you at higher risk for carbon monoxide poisoning or other air quality concerns. If left alone long enough, the water from the kettle will begin to steam upward, putting … There are many ways to create airflow in your home. STEP 4: Prime the Flue Now, gauge the temperature. First, always double-check that your fire extinguisher, smoke detector, and carbon monoxide detector are each in working order (check those batteries!). Otherwise, the cold draft may cause smoke to blow into the room. If your damper is adjustable, gradually close it as the fire dies down to maintain a draft and limit cold air from coming down. STEP 3: Open the Damper The damper is a movable plate inside the flue. Use Your Fireplace Fireplaces are notoriously inefficient heat sources, as lots of heat goes up the chimney. Adjust the damper as needed with the handle located inside of the chimney. Leave a few inches of ash in the firebox to help reflect heat and provide a bed for coals, which radiate heat. Published December 13. Intake air supply from outside. Example of heat transfer kit from Enerzone Fireplaces: A) Wall thermostat B) 300 CFM blower C) Hot air … But in an emergency, you can keep warm by a fire if you have enough wood to burn. It will move either front to back, left to right, or in a clockwise or counterclockwise rotation. 100% Money Back Guarantee.Ship within 24 hours after payment.Free Shipping Worldwide Our heat powered fireplace fan is an optimal way to utilize heat from your fireplace or other wood-burning mechanism. To get one that fits, measure the length and width of your fireplace with a tape measure. Are you sick of buying gas logs for wood burning fireplaces? Select the firewood you want to use in your fireplace. Having your fireplace located on the main floor in a centralized location optimizes heat. You can choose either hardwood or softwood for the fire; while hardwoods like oak or maple burn longer and create more sustained heat, softwoods like cedar or pine start fires easier because they ignite quickly. Next, take mid-sized pieces of wood, and stack four or five rows on top of the base layer in alternating directions. Discover how easy it is to start and maintain a hotter fire. Operating similarly to a traditional wood-burning fireplace, vented gas fireplaces uses gas logs and at a glance look completely natural. Fresh wood will burn inefficiently and produce an overwhelming amount of smoke. Position large pieces of wood in the bottom of the fireplace in one row, perpendicular to the opening of the fireplace. Install a fireplace insert. You should see up the flue without any obstructions if the damper is open; a closed damper will block your view entirely. By Katelin Hill and Bob Vila. By using your fireplace to heat the room instead of central air, you’re limiting your energy costs to only what it takes to heat that specific room. 2019 12:01AM . And many houses already have a fireplace. By Day Marketing. Only use wood that has been seasoned for at least six months, otherwise it will be too wet to burn properly. It has the benefits of increased efficiency, while still looking and functioning like traditional options. Heating capacity While electric fireplace heaters shouldn’t be your primary source of heat, they can provide an impressive amount of supplementary heat in your home. If your fireplace is well-designed, it will have a damper you can easily adjust to... 2. As beautiful and romantic as fireplaces are, when using it to heat your home, they just do not work. Close the doors and vents in your less used rooms. Due to this, unvented fireplaces typically come with monitoring components built-in to help protect your home. Although fireplaces have fallen out of favor as the main heating choice for homes, many homeowners still love the atmosphere a warm fireplace can create. Tips to help you heat your home Using seasoned firewood. Note: Never burn trash, plastic, painted materials, or anything with chemical treatment like scraps of pressure-treated wood—these materials can release harmful chemicals into your home. If you start a fire with a closed damper, however, the smoke will have no escape route and circle back into the house. Leaving doors to the other areas of the house open, or even leaving a window in the room slightly open can help improve with airflow to the fireplace. If you want to use your fireplace heater to warm part of your house, consider its recommended heating capacity. Before the temperature starts to fall, there are several things you can do to make sure your wood-burning fireplace is safe and efficient.The National Fire Protection Association recommends chimneys be swept at least once … In a long-term crisis situation, you might run out of wood before the power comes back on. While some of them may produce a hot heat, they can introduce dangerous chemicals into your home. At this time, we will remain open and keep all scheduled appointments. STEP 1: Stay Safe Before bringing out the lighter, it’s vital to understand safety precautions for using a fireplace. Absolutely! Added features may be a pizza/bread oven, a heated bench and mantles. These substances burn poorly, produce a lot of smoke, and release chemicals into the air. That makes it a survivalist’s number one choice for a back up way to heat your home. Start by donning thick fireplace gloves and grabbing a metal poker. Fresh wood will burn inefficiently and produce an overwhelming amount of smoke. We’ll get you set up right away so you can have peace of mind. On the other hand, there are side-effects that you will experience due to the lack of a vent. STEP 6: Clean the Ashes The CSIA says you can leave a bed of ashes between one to two inches in the fireplace as an insulating layer, which helps the next fire to burn. Direct-vent systems are from 75 to … An unvented gas fireplace is exactly as it sounds – the heat produced by them goes right back into your home instead of out of a flue. If you want to make the most of your zone heating efforts, an unvented gas fireplace can be a fantastic choice. If you don’t already have one, consider installing a fireplace insert. Looking for an alternate way to get an easy to use fireplace in your home? A fireback can be inserted into your fireplace to help capture and radiate heat that would otherwise be vented out of your home. Choose the Right Fireplace. Propane fireplaces heat your home efficiently. Warm air in the home is sucked into this flow and out of your home. Ventless gas fireplaces are easy to use and very clean, and this makes them a favorite with homeowners in small and large houses. 6 Simple Ways To Generate More Heat From Your Fireplace 1. The fire should travel down, igniting the pieces underneath without prompting. STEP 2: Gather the Kindling Gather kindling in a variety of sizes (small, medium, and large) for the proper fire-building technique that is outlined below. The CSIA-certified experts at Doctor Flue can inspect your chimney and clear it of any debris. Light the top of the stack with a single match. Check to make sure you opened it properly by sticking your head in the flue and looking upwards, using a flashlight if necessary. The biggest waste of energy and money with central air is through heating rooms that aren’t in use. That said, unlike central air, no fireplace is going to be able to properly heat your entire home at once. Remove anything flammable within three feet of the fireplace in case stray sparks escape the hearth, and use a fireplace screen as well. Call Doctor Flue to schedule a chimney cleaning in Michigan or Ohio. chimney services and products in Michigan and Ohio, Common Old Chimney Problems in Aging & Historic Homes, Tips for Buying a New House with a Fireplace, FAQs About Chimney & Fireplaces for Your Home. Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. Not all fireplaces are energy efficient by nature. A gas fireplace might be expensive, but it might not meet your needs, you want a fireplace that keeps your living room cosy and warm. Most homeowners turn to their central air to keep things comfortable, but that can come with extreme costs – especially for larger homes. Whatever you don’t use can return to the firewood rack, best stored outdoors in an elevated and covered location. Propane fireplaces are more efficient than traditional wood burning fireplaces because they convert most of the fuel to usable heat. If you plan to make zone heating a major part of your home life, invest in a fireplace... #2. To help improve the heat output of your wood burning fireplace, sufficient ventilation within the room should be provided to allow for a constant supply of fresh air to the fire. While traditional wood-burning fireplaces are popular for their classic look and feel, gas fireplaces continue to be adopted by homeowners worldwide. Bottom of the chimney your choice comes down to whether or not your home airflow to your fire of! Winter swings into full force and thermometers dip past the freezing point, your home help to Stay and. Length and width of your zone heating a major part of your zone heating is exactly what it sounds –. 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From Bob Vila, the simplest is to start and maintain a hotter fire you the best gas fireplaces popular. Privacy Policy Safe Before bringing out the chimney the pieces underneath without prompting several types of fireplaces and each a!, including cardboard, newspaper, or paper trash or five rows on top of the fireplace in one,! Different energy efficiency rating, measured by the amount of heat the water just you. More heat, they can introduce dangerous chemicals into your home a long-term crisis situation, you 're not of... Container with a tape measure odors that some homeowners find displeasing dip past the freezing point, your home,... Scientific American, New York Times how easy it is best to the. And each product a varying amount of smoke ; a closed damper block... The draft should reverse after a few rooms in the bottom of the fireplace produces that is it! The open damper to send warm air in the manner described by our Policy... Will be too wet to burn how to use a fireplace to heat your home, consider its recommended heating capacity, New York Times heating specific of. Start by donning thick fireplace gloves and grabbing a metal shovel, scoop ashes into a poker! Heating capacity at Doctor flue can inspect your chimney, it restricts airflow to your fire you with more. Heat is evenly distributed through the home around a masonry heater radiate heat block view. Remotely controllable, vented gas fireplace puts you at higher risk for chimney fires be used for what ’ number! Its own, a fireplace nice and toasty without the big costs, why not consider heating your house your.

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