Some hard truths here, folks. Your fireplace is not a heat source. In fact, your fireplace costs you money every time you use it. An open, masonry fireplace consumes 200-600 cubic feet of air per minute to function. Over the course of an evening, it may use all the air in your home 6-7 times over to fuel itself. Obviously, that air is going to be refreshed by pulling make-up air from outside. So if it’s 20 degrees outside, you are now pulling 20 degree air into your home unnecessarily. That means that although you might be nice and comfy sitting directly in front of the fire, the rest of your home is getting dramatically and noticeably colder and your heat is clicking overtime to keep up with all the cold air rushing into your house. It’s the equivalent of leaving a window open in the middle of the winter.
A fireplace is always just for atmosphere, never for warmth. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it. It just means you must be aware of the heat—and therefore money—lost every time you fire it off. If heat is your goal, consider installing a wood burning insert into the existing fireplace. It’s a great investment that turns an inefficient fireplace into an efficient, EPA approved, valuable alternative heat source. A professionally installed wood burning insert can generate a rich, encompassing warmth, while still giving you the romance of the crackling fire. And with the money you can save on your heating bills, it’s something that will pay for itself in the long run.
Best of Sweep’s Luck to you,