Simple steps can cut your heating bill
Most fireplaces are escape hatches for heat and a wide-open door for cold air in winter. The U.S. Department of Energy offers these tips for changing those dynamics:
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning; keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
- When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly — approximately 1 inch — and close doors leading into the room; lower the thermostat setting to between 50 and 55 degrees.
- If you never use the fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
- If you use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
- Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper, and make it as snug as possible.
- Purchase grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw cool room air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room.
- Add caulking around the fireplace hearth.