Using Your Fireplace: Home Heating Misconceptions

A hot cup of cocoa in one hand and a book in the other—is there anything more comfortable than curling up with your loved ones in front of the fireplace during the winter? You may think heating your home with a fire will help save on your fuel bill, but the truth may not make you feel so warm and fuzzy inside. A fireplace may provide comfort but it’s not efficient for providing heat. We’re taking a look at one of the major home heating misconceptions and letting you know how you can use your fireplace both effectively and safely.

Heating Effectively

It may seem counterintuitive, but your roaring fireplace can actually burn through your wallet pretty quickly—especially when used improperly. A wood-burning fireplace is surprisingly inefficient, with the majority of the heat going up the chimney and straight out of your home. Additionally, the heat already produced by your home heating system can be sucked up and out as well, making it work even harder to maintain a steady temperature. While a fireplace shouldn’t be your primary heat source, you can still use it efficiently for some winter ambiance by:

  • First, make sure your damper is only open while the fire still burning, otherwise it’s like leaving a window open in the middle of the winter.
  • Don’t shut your heating system off while operating your fireplace—more energy will be required to heat your home back up after it has cooled down than would be necessary to run consistently.
  • Consider installing glass doors to create a seal, trapping smoke in the chimney and preventing some of your home’s heat from escaping.

Ensuring Fireplace Safety

It’s not enough to use your fireplace efficiently, you also need to use it safely—here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Always make sure the damper is open before lighting a fire in order to draw smoke out of the home.
  • Use dry and well-aged wood to cut down on smoke.
  • Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
  • Ensure the area around your fireplace is completely clear.
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby!

How Girard Can Help

Home heating is a critical topic, especially in the dead of winter, so we hope these tips are helpful. While we can’t keep your fireplace safe for you, we can make sure you have the most efficient and top-of-the-line home heating system. If you’re interested in learning about our Mitsubishi Electric split-ductless technology and the ways it can help lower your energy bill and improve your heating reliability, give us a call today.