Direct-vent systems are from 75 to … If your home has limitations that prevent a vented fireplace from being installed, you're not out of luck. Start by donning thick fireplace gloves and grabbing a metal poker. It also increases your risk of dangerous chimney fires or 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. Additionally, they can produce moisture and odors that some homeowners find displeasing. Zone heating is exactly what it sounds like – heating specific areas of your home. A normal fireplace loses 90% of it's heat through the chimney and installing a new more efficient fireplace can cost thousands of dollars. By Day Marketing. Install a fireplace insert. 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. You should see up the flue without any obstructions if the damper is open; a closed damper will block your view entirely. 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. Each type of fireplace has a different energy efficiency rating, measured by the amount of heat the fireplace produces that is lost. Summer Fireplace Maintenance Tips: Preparing Your Fireplace for the Cold Ahead. Adjust the damper as needed with the handle located inside of the chimney. It works on heat power alone and doesn't require any electricity or batteries. Make sure the stack takes up no more than half the height of your fireplace. Estimated cost: $50 to $70. For these reasons, if your goal is to warm the home using a fireplace, you’ll be better off with another option. Heating your house using your fireplace is pretty simple. A gas fireplace works too, and is more efficient than a wood-burning fireplace. Warm air in the home is sucked into this flow and out of your home. 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. Store the container outdoors away from the house, and not in garages or on decks. These substances burn poorly, produce a lot of smoke, and release chemicals into the air. While some of them may produce a hot heat, they can introduce dangerous chemicals into your home. You can expect to retain upwards of 70 percent of the heat generated. Next, take mid-sized pieces of wood, and stack four or five rows on top of the base layer in alternating directions. Get a Quote for Cleaning, Repair, Replacement, or Rebuild. STEP 3: Open the Damper The damper is a movable plate inside the flue. 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. I like the idea of a thermostat-controlled fireplace insert but I'm skeptical that something like this could heat … And many houses already have a fireplace. 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. Now add your smallest pieces of wood, making sure these pieces are very dry. There is some confusion... Fireplace with … But when you need to dispose of ashes, proceed with caution. 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. If your damper is adjustable, gradually close it as the fire dies down to maintain a draft and limit cold air from coming down. 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. Whatever you don’t use can return to the firewood rack, best stored outdoors in an elevated and covered location. Not only do you get to enjoy a nice, roaring fire, you’ll also realize substantial savings on your next heating bill! 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. Check to make sure you opened it properly by sticking your head in the flue and looking upwards, using a flashlight if necessary. To emit less smoke and soot, make sure the wood is dry, well-seasoned, and split a minimum of six months ago. That makes it a survivalist’s number one choice for a back up way to heat your home. Contact us today! 2019 12:01AM . Absolutely! Operating similarly to a traditional wood-burning fireplace, vented gas fireplaces uses gas logs and at a glance look completely natural. It’s less efficient than redistributing with ceiling fans, but for smaller, open concept houses, it’s a great way to star warm. Select the firewood you want to use in your fireplace. 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. Fresh wood will burn inefficiently and produce an overwhelming amount of smoke. Some experts recommend using andirons instead of a grate, so that logs to drop onto the bed of coals where they burn more efficiently [source: Carlsen]. A fireback can be inserted into your fireplace to help capture and radiate heat that would otherwise be vented out of your home. This fan keeps an efficient flow of warmth circulating through your room. Coals may take several hours or several days to completely cool, and ash could still be burning during that time. There’s a really awesome alternative out there that’s easy to use and sometimes doesn’t even require a vent. Do not burn pine in your fireplace because it causes creosote buildup and puts your home at risk for chimney fires. Using a metal shovel, scoop ashes into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. This happens when the low heat vents through the flue, creating airflow out the chimney. However, a fireplace can easily be used for what’s known as “zone heating.”. Propane fireplaces heat your home efficiently. Use the damper to its potential. 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. 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. But in an emergency, you can keep warm by a fire if you have enough wood to burn. If you tend to stick to a few rooms in the house: Keep the furnace fan set to on. As winter swings into full force and thermometers dip past the freezing point, your home will need some help to stay warm. If your fireplace or stove are on one end of your house, don’t expect the other end to be just as warm. Don’t close the damper until the fire is completely out and all the embers have stopped burning. Only burn natural materials in your fireplace; never introduce foreign substances, including cardboard, newspaper, or paper trash. Green or fresh-cut wood will make... Use a fireplace insert. 6 Simple Ways To Generate More Heat From Your Fireplace 1. Gas inserts can be installed in almost any home, so don't feel like you can't upgrade or change your existing fireplace! Choose the Right Fireplace. Having your fireplace located on the main floor in a centralized location optimizes heat. If you want to use your fireplace heater to warm part of your house, consider its recommended heating capacity. When you use a... #3. A crackling fire roaring merrily away in a fireplace … Estimated cost: $50 to $70. 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. You agree that BobVila.com may process your data in the manner described by our Privacy Policy. Use a non-functional fireplace to heat up your home decor. If left alone long enough, the water from the kettle will begin to steam upward, putting … Featured in news stories on CBS, in Time, Scientific American, New York Times. There are many ways to create airflow in your home. In most cases, it only creates a very small amount of heat. 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. At this time, we will remain open and keep all scheduled appointments. Only a qualified heater-mason contractor should build a masonry heater. Not all fireplaces are energy efficient by nature. As creosote builds up in your chimney, it restricts airflow to your fire. Turn up the gas fireplace. The first is the simplest: Place water on top of your fireplace – preferably in a safe kettle-like container. The fire should travel down, igniting the pieces underneath without prompting. Only use wood that has been seasoned for at least six months, otherwise it will be too wet to burn properly. Looking for an alternate way to get an easy to use fireplace in your home? The tiniest bits (which can take the form of wood shavings or bunched-up newspapers) should be at the very top. During the colder months, nothing beats warming the house with a crackling fire. Tips to help you heat your home Using seasoned firewood. Are you sick of buying gas logs for wood burning fireplaces? Home Carbon Monoxide Risks: How to Stay Safe This Fall! On one hand, this makes them incredibly efficient for heating your home. And that's where a direct vent system comes in.'' By Katelin Hill and Bob Vila. If you want to stay nice and toasty without the big costs, why not consider heating your home with a fireplace? Fireplace Safety Check. You can feel the heat when you are sitting very close, and that is about it. Heating your home using your fireplace starts with air flow. Discover how easy it is to start and maintain a hotter fire. Light the top of the stack with a single match. 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). We offer chimney services and products in Michigan and Ohio and can inspect your chimney and identify any potential risks. If your fireplace is well-designed, it will have a damper you can easily adjust to... 2. 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. How to Use a Fireplace for the First Time. If you feel a rush of cold air (which usually occurs if the chimney is built on the outside of the house), then you need to prime the flue—in order words, you need to preheat it. Burn safe materials. Burn Seasoned Wood. Ventless gas fireplaces are easy to use and very clean, and this makes them a favorite with homeowners in small and large houses. Gas options will reward you with much more heat, and can be relatively inexpensive to operate. It is best to design the home around a masonry heater to get the maximum efficiency. In fact, an unvented gas fireplace will return essentially all of the heat it produces back into your home. But it takes a lot of wood to keep your home warm. 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. Don't remember the last time you had your chimney cleaned? In a long-term crisis situation, you might run out of wood before the power comes back on. 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. In addition to being remotely controllable, vented gas fireplaces are extremely efficient. It’s just a matter of using it to bring some much-desired warmth into your home. Otherwise, the cold draft may cause smoke to blow into the room. 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. Published December 13. ''If you want to use your fireplace as a heat source, you have to get a minimum of 70 percent efficiency. 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. Let the fire burn for as long as you’d like. When opened, it allows the smoke and ash to travel safely up the chimney. We did the research to help find you the best gas fireplaces around. Added features may be a pizza/bread oven, a heated bench and mantles. If you are feeling ill or would prefer to reschedule, please contact our office and we will work with you to push back your appointment. For one, an unvented gas fireplace puts you at higher risk for carbon monoxide poisoning or other air quality concerns. If you choose to burn wood, consider using seasoned firewood. Remove anything flammable within three feet of the fireplace in case stray sparks escape the hearth, and use a fireplace screen as well. Propane fireplaces are more efficient than traditional wood burning fireplaces because they convert most of the fuel to usable heat. STEP 5: Build the Fire While there are multiple ways to build a fire, the CSIA recommends the top-down method, which produces less smoke and requires less tending. STEP 1: Stay Safe Before bringing out the lighter, it’s vital to understand safety precautions for using a fireplace. Before bringing out the lighter, it’s vital to understand safety precautions for using a fireplace. First, always double-check that your fire extinguisher, smoke detector, and carbon monoxide detector are each in working order (check those batteries!). STEP 4: Prime the Flue Now, gauge the temperature. STEP 3: Open the Damper While there are many ways to accomplish this, the simplest is to use the room in which your fireplace is built. 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. Most homeowners turn to their central air to keep things comfortable, but that can come with extreme costs – especially for larger homes. However, you can modify your hearth in such a way that it can provide heat, rather than just be something pretty to look at. Call Doctor Flue to schedule a chimney cleaning in Michigan or Ohio. It will move either front to back, left to right, or in a clockwise or counterclockwise rotation. These drawbacks often mean your choice comes down to whether or not your home can support the installation of a vented fireplace. That said, unlike central air, no fireplace is going to be able to properly heat your entire home at once. If you don’t already have one, consider installing a fireplace insert. Example of heat transfer kit from Enerzone Fireplaces: A) Wall thermostat B) 300 CFM blower C) Hot air … You may be able to modify existing vents to … On its own, a wood burning fireplace is the least efficient of all fireplaces for producing heat. 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. The draft should reverse after a few minutes, making your fireplace ready for action. On the other hand, there are side-effects that you will experience due to the lack of a vent. 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. There are several types of fireplaces and each product a varying amount of heat for your home. If you plan to make zone heating a major part of your home life, invest in a fireplace that's efficient for heating. If you plan to make zone heating a major part of your home life, invest in a fireplace... #2. Your fireplace’s effectiveness can vary dramatically based on the size and shape of your home. When you use a wood-burning fireplace, you need to only burn seasoned wood. The biggest waste of energy and money with central air is through heating rooms that aren’t in use. The CSIA-certified experts at Doctor Flue can inspect your chimney and clear it of any debris. 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. As an added benefit, a fireback also protects the back wall of your firebox from direct flames and the byproducts of combustion! Stay healthy! Position large pieces of wood in the bottom of the fireplace in one row, perpendicular to the opening of the fireplace. If you start a fire with a closed damper, however, the smoke will have no escape route and circle back into the house. Only burn tinder (such as pine needles or tiny sticks), kindling (small sticks or pinecones), and fuel (large logs, up to about 14” long). While traditional wood-burning fireplaces are popular for their classic look and feel, gas fireplaces continue to be adopted by homeowners worldwide. 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. There are two types of gas fireplaces that you can choose from: vented or unvented. A fireplace can be an inviting place to snuggle up when it's cold outside, and it can provide a cozy atmosphere for spending time with friends and family. Select a mixture of both hardwoods and softwoods. 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 your home doesn’t have one, a professional can install a new gas fireplace in your home, even in place of an existing wood-burning firebox. 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. puff-backs, which can coat your room in filthy soot. Leave a few inches of ash in the firebox to help reflect heat and provide a bed for coals, which radiate heat. To get one that fits, measure the length and width of your fireplace with a tape measure. Due to this, unvented fireplaces typically come with monitoring components built-in to help protect your home. Enjoy. Here’s the proper technique for how to use a fireplace, with safety precautions every homeowner should know. Close the doors and vents in your less used rooms. This will impact the heat and efficiency of your fireplace. It has the benefits of increased efficiency, while still looking and functioning like traditional options. The best fireplace grate uses laws of physics to direct more heat out into the room, less up the chimney compared to conventional fireplace grates. Intake air supply from outside. As beautiful and romantic as fireplaces are, when using it to heat your home, they just do not work. With the recent concerns about COVID-19, Doctor Flue has implemented additional measures to ensure the safety and health of our crew and clients. Heat is evenly distributed through the home without the use of ductwork or forced air. Much of the heat generated from a wood burning fireplace is lost through the chimney. Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. Light a roll of newspaper and hold it against the open damper to send warm air into the flue. The damper is a movable plate inside the flue. We’ll get you set up right away so you can have peace of mind. You should always take care never to burn non-wood products in your fireplace. Tips for Heating Your Home with a Fireplace #1. 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? For homeowners looking to zone heat their living rooms, a vented gas fireplace is a great option. If you want to make the most of your zone heating efforts, an unvented gas fireplace can be a fantastic choice. Copyright © 2020 Acton Media Inc. All rights reserved. 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 … Fresh wood will burn inefficiently and produce an overwhelming amount of smoke. The fire will heat the water just like you were making tea. 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. STEP 1: Stay Safe Katelin Hill, Bob Vila, 15 Handy Things You Can Do With Ashes from Your Fireplace, The Dos and Don'ts of Air-Drying Everything You Own, 7 Things You Need to Know Before Painting Your Walls White, 10 Things I Learned from Moving During a Pandemic. Use Your Fireplace Fireplaces are notoriously inefficient heat sources, as lots of heat goes up the chimney. Or, perhaps your wood-burning stove is unusable. 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