Fire Up Savings: Optimize Your Fireplace for Maximum Heat & Energy Efficiency

by | Apr 27, 2024 | Energy Efficiency

If you’re like most people out here in the Raleigh/Durham, NC area, your fireplace is likely not in the front of your mind this time of year. Other than having your annual chimney inspection performed, the beautiful weather during the spring and summer months probably renders your system quite dormant…and we can’t blame you! With balmy temperatures between the 60s and 80s, surrounded by the North Carolina beauty, it’s hard to stay indoors.

Even still, it’s never too early to think about the inevitable chill that accompanies autumn – and how you might be able to cut back on some of those hefty heating bills. Hint: your fireplace might be the solution you didn’t know you were looking for. Read on to learn how your hearth can help you increase the heat and save you money doing so. 

Looking to schedule a chimney or fireplace service? Have a unique and/or specific question you’d like answered about how to make your appliance more energy efficient? Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 919-747-1859 or get in touch through our website by filling out our contact form.

Can a Clean Chimney Really Save on Heating Costs?

You betcha! Even if you don’t use your hearth to heat your home, it’s still best practice – and safest – to keep your appliance clean and in tip-top shape. In terms of efficiency, specifically, your chimney can contribute to the overall exchange of energy throughout your home in the following ways:

original infographic stating how fireplaces impact energy efficiency in your home
  • A dirty chimney restricts airflow. Plain and simple. If you do utilize your fireplace as a primary or secondary heat source, ensuring that it stays clean and clear of combustion byproduct materials and other debris is paramount. A chimney functions on the principle that hot air will always rise to replace the cold. But, if there are blockages or accumulations of anything on the walls of your flue, it’s significantly harder for the fire exhaust to cleanly and efficiently leave your home. The result is spending more money on more fuel for much less impactful results.
  • Your fire will not burn as hot if the flue has not been cleaned. Just as a dirty flue can impact the airflow and how effectively your appliance can ventilate fumes, it also affects the overall heat production. Effective and efficient combustion requires oxygen, fuel, and heat. If one of those is restricted in any way, it’s going to be a lot harder to build a fire that produces palpable, adequate heat.
  • The state of the damper impacts the chimney draft. If your damper is old or damaged, you might be experiencing issues with negative air and draftiness. Regardless of whether you have a throat damper or a top-sealing one, if the gasket (the part of the mechanism that creates the seal) is deteriorating, you’ll lose both conditioned and heated air – even when your appliance is not in use. With nothing there to effectively prevent air from escaping, you’ll likely notice a difference in temperature and pressure inside your home – and end up spending more money on utility bills to make up for the air lost.

How Can I Make My Home More Energy Efficient?

While your hearth does play a big role in energy efficiency – and you should aim to sweep it out annually regardless – keeping yours clean and debris-free isn’t the only thing you can do to try and cut back on utility bills. Here are some other ways you can ensure that the money you’re spending on necessities like heating and cooling isn’t going to waste:

  • Ensure all junctures are properly sealed. Whether it’s your chimney or your kitchen window, if there is an unobstructed opening to the outdoors, inside air will leak out. To prevent this from happening, invest in high-quality weatherstripping and other joint sealants or caulking so that the air you pay for – be it heated or cooled – stays where it belongs.
  • Have all your appliances professionally cleaned. This is the same concept as with your fireplace and chimney system: dirty appliances have to work harder to produce the same desired effect. To ensure that all your larger home appliances (think washer/dryers, dishwashers, furnaces, etc.) are operating at their fullest and most efficient capacity, consider getting them cleaned. Simply removing years-old gunk and other debris can vastly improve their performance to what it once was.
  • Unplug chargers when they’re not being used. Did you know that chargers source energy even when they’re not being used? If you’re looking for simple solutions that require a touch of mindfulness, remembering to unplug chargers from the wall is a great place to start.
a green outline of a house with energy bars (ranging from green to red) coming out of the side of it

Looking for Some Professional Hearth Help? Trust the Pros at Mr. Smokestack!

Fall might be months away, but it’s always a good idea to consider ways to improve your home’s efficiency – no matter that time of year. And if you’re looking for a cost-effective and cozy way to save some cash on heating bills, we can help. Whatever your hearth and chimney-related needs, Mr. Smokestack is the team to call for the best services in the Raleigh/Durham area. Give us a call at 919-747-1859 or fill out our appointment request form right here online.

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