Alterations can make your fireplace more efficient


Even if you love the crackle and warmth of a wood-burning fire on the hearth, you probably could live without the added cost to your energy bill. 
Sure, the flickering flames make you feel warm while you’re sitting nearby, but wood-burning fires are not efficient. They emit little or no warmth into a room and send warm air up the chimney. 
Wood-burning fires also can create particles that pollute the air indoors and outdoors, and could poison the house with carbon monoxide. 
That doesn’t mean you have to close your fireplace up forever, though. Instead, try improving the efficiency and safety of your beloved hearth: 
  • Close the fireplace damper when you’re not burning wood. This will cut down on the loss of warm room air through the chimney. 
  • Cover the front of the fireplace with tempered glass doors, which seal the fireplace opening and prevent air in the room from escaping through it. Fireplace inserts are another option for converting fireplaces into efficient heating systems. 
  • Hire a professional to sweep your chimney. 
  • Use artificial logs, which reduce pollutant emissions by almost 80 percent. 
  • Replace wood with electric “logs” that you can insert into the fireplace, or plug in an electric fireplace instead of burning wood.

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