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

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