Fireplaces are wonderful room-heating systems, especially during the winter. A good old fire on the chilly winter evenings is an alluring respite from the cold. A properly functioning fireplace can create a comforting and warm ambiance that you need.
But did you know that your fireplace could be wasting more energy than it is creating?
Your fireplace could give you more substance than it is right now. In this article, we are going to shed some light on how you can make your wood-burning fireplace work more efficiently. Let’s find out.
1. Use Seasoned Firewood
Freshly cut wood contains a lot of moisture. When it is burned, this water evaporates to create smoke, making your fireplace work inefficiently. This is a waste of fuel and energy. Preparing your firewood is important.
Softwood takes 6 months to dry and hardwood requires a year to be ready for usage. Additionally, the cut wood needs to be piled in a single row to ensure that it is properly exposed to the sun.
While buying firewood, you need to make sure that it is well dried and seasoned. You can use a wood moisture meter to check the level of moisture in the wood. Wood that has been dried and seasoned appropriately should not have a moisture level of more than 20%.
2. Install a Fireplace Door
An open fireplace could suck in the warm air of the room and expel it up and out of the chimney. It acts like an open window freely allowing in and pulling out air from the room causing your home’s heating bill to shoot up. A fireplace door checks the amount of airflow, keeping the room warm. By enclosing the fire, it allows the firewood to burn more efficiently, producing more heat.
Apart from that, fireplace doors restrict the inflow of smoke or debris into the room. It forms a safe barrier between the fire and the room.
3. Starting the Fire Appropriately
A lot depends on the way you start the fire. To get a roaring fire producing a lot of warmth with less wood requires a few basic steps that you need to follow.
First of all, you need to place some kindling on the fireplace grate and position the kindling in a way that the front end of the kindling does not extend beyond the grate. This would reduce the risk of embers and ash falling into the room. The next step is to start a fire with the kindling. Once the chimney or the flue starts heating up, push in the bigger logs into the fire. While doing this, keep in mind that you should not crowd the bottom of the grate. A tightly packed grate would not allow air to pass through the wood from the bottom resulting in a dim fire. Logs placed with a little space in between them would create the scope for a draft allowing air to pass through to produce a roaring fire.
Additionally, ash is a good insulator for fireplaces and therefore, helps create a hot fire. However, too much ash accumulation could pose a hindrance to warming the room. So, you would need to clean out extra ash from the fireplace hearth from time to time to make sure that the fireplace works efficiently.
4. Get Your Chimney Cleaned
As your fireplace burns wood to warm your home, it builds up creosote that gets accumulated on the walls of the chimney. Creosote is highly flammable and it could result in a chimney fire. In addition, it also restricts airflow making your fireplace work poorly. The rate of creosote buildup depends on burning practices.
To be sure that your fireplace works smoothly, you need to get your chimney cleaned once in a year. An expert chimney sweep in Brighton will not only clean up the creosote buildup but would also ensure that the flue is unclogged and sweeps it clean off any debris that might have accumulated.
With winter upon us, the fireplace is going to be in use every day. And the above tips would help you make the most out of your fireplace. You need to keep in mind that the flames could be dangerous. So you need to take necessary precautions to make sure that it does not turn out to be a hazard.