Seal Your Fireplace/Chimney to Prevent Energy Loss & Save Money
The wood-burning fireplace that you and your family enjoy so much in winter can put added strain on your budget year-around. A lot of heat can go right out the chimney, and that happens with or without a fire in the fireplace. The good news is that there is something you can do about it. You can seal your fireplace and chimney to save money and put a stop to all that loss of energy. Some information and tips to make your fireplace more energy-efficient follow.
What Causes Heat Loss through the Chimney?
It has been estimated that up to $6 billion per year is the cost of wasted energy resulting from poorly sealed chimneys in the U.S. Combustion gases are pulled up through the chimney, which is a good thing. But experts say additional air from the home is also pulled outside. If you have a traditional fireplace, only 10% of the heat from a fire contributes to the heat in your home. When the fireplace goes cold, air from the home is still being pulled out through the chimney, unless your fireplace and/or chimney are properly sealed.
The damper in chimneys has a part in the high cost of energy in America. Of course, the damper must be open when there’s a fire in the fireplace. Research shows that in as many as 80% of U.S. households, people forget to close the flue damper after a fire has died down.
Unfortunately, even when the damper is closed, they aren’t typically airtight. Air still gets through a closed damper. A study on chimney efficiency found that, on average, closed dampers let enough air through that it is equivalent to having an opening 5.5” x 5.5” in your home that allows heated air to continually flow outside.
Accessories to Seal your Fireplace or Chimney
According to The U.S. Department of Energy, the typical homeowner can save as much as $275 per year by sealing and weather-stripping their fireplace and chimney. It saves money on air-conditioning, too.
If you are interested in cutting energy costs and you have a fireplace, you can choose from various accessories that will stop the heated or cooled air in your home from escaping. The following are some of those accessories:
Fireplace doors or covers. When you secure a door or custom cover on your fireplace opening, it will prevent or reduce heat loss. These can be permanent or removable accessories.
Flue Sealers. There are various types of flue sealers that are referred to as “removable stoppers,” and they seal off the chimney completely. These are typically inexpensive and easy to install and remove. When using a flue sealer, it can be dangerous to light a fire with it still in place. It can help to put a sticker on the fireplace somewhere, as a reminder that the chimney has been sealed off.
Fireplace Inserts. A practical and environmentally friendly approach to making a fireplace more cost-effective is to have a fireplace insert installed. These are custom-made. They transform a fireplace into a viable source of heat with an efficiency rating of around 70% or higher.
DIY Solutions. Tutorials are online at YouTube.com providing instructions on making do-it-yourself insulation for your fireplace. For example, you can learn how to create a plywood and insulating foamboard damper or a DIY damper that has only insulating foamboard.
Contact the Chimney Specialists
The best way to ensure that your fireplace and chimney are as efficient as possible is to entrust inspection, cleaning, maintenance, and repair to the experts at Chimney Specialists Inc. You can also get high-quality service at our sister store in Dubuque IA, Dubuque Fireplace & Patio. Call Chimney Specialists at 608-929-4887 today to schedule an appointment for help cutting costs with a more efficient fireplace and chimney.