How to Heat Your Home with Your Fireplace or Stove
Here are a few quick tips on getting the most out of your fireplace, stove or fireplace insert.
Open Masonry Fireplaces
Traditional masonry fireplaces bring wonderful ambience to a home, but they’re not high-powered heat producers. If you have one of these fireplaces and want to increase its heat production, you have a few options.
Replace wood logs with vent-free gas logs: Realistic-looking gas logs add heat to a room because there’s no chimney operation to lift the heat up and into the outside air.
Add a fireback: A fireback is a cast-iron plate that sits in the back of the firebox. When logs are burned, the fireback absorbs heat and serves as fa radiant heat source.
Install a heater: Fireplace heaters do a good job in sending warm air from the firebox into a room. Increase heat levels by adding a blower. (Always consult with a certified fireplace technician to perform these add-ons.)
Heating with free-standing stoves
Most heating stoves sold today and in recent years provide high efficiency and plenty of heat. Poor performance usually happens if the stove is not properly maintained. Taking good care of your free-standing stove includes:
- Annual safety and performance inspections
- Annual vent cleaning – especially if your stove burns wood
- Timely repair of damaged components
If your stove still doesn’t heat well, consider changing its location in the home. Most stoves require only a simple exhaust vent pipe that can be run through the majority of walls or ceiling spaces. Consult with a fireplace and stove professional to get advice on optimal placement for your appliance.
Heating with fireplace inserts
If you like your masonry fireplace but need more heat, consider adding a powerful new fireplace insert.
You can purchase inserts that run on wood logs or pellets and keep the ambience of a real wood fire while bringing significantly more heat to your home. Fireplace inserts fit right into your existing firebox and have very high heat-efficiency ratings.
Heating with zero-clearance fireplaces
A great option for heating your home with a fireplace is to purchase a highly efficient zero-clearance (ZC) wood-burning fireplace. ZC fireplaces are well-insulated and safe to install in virtually any wall in a home. Like fireplace inserts, they’re beautiful to look at and produce far more heat than any open masonry fireplace.
Wood-burning tips for better heating
Whatever type of appliance you use, you’ll get better heating performance by following these wood-burning guidelines:
- Use only dry (seasoned) wood – it burns hotter with less smoke, and the logs burn more completely, giving you more bang for your firewood buck.
- Regularly remove built-up ashes from the firebox. This will allow more air to get into the fire to keep it blazing-hot.
- Make sure your chimney or vent pipe is clean. Creosote buildup in a flue can lead to a fire, plus it impedes the drafting of smoke, which leads to sluggish fires.
- Remember that hardwoods like beech, elm and oak will burn a lot longer than softwoods like red pine, cedar and fir.
Black Moose Chimney & Stove of Antrim, NH, is here to help you get the most out of your fireplace, stove or fireplace insert. We provide chimney sweep services, chimney inspections, appliance installations and fireplace and stove repairs, all done by certified professionals. Call us today at (603) 525-7905.