These features can be added to your fireplace to improve its operating efficiency. Allison. More flexible: you can place electric fires anywhere they can be plugged in, and you can still use them within fireplaces or set in chimney breasts. What Can I Do with My Fireplace in the Summer? Gas fireplaces use between 7,000 and 16,000 BTUs, are between 70 and 90% efficient at converting energy to heat, and cost around $60 a year to run.. Electric fireplaces have an output that is based on the electric current. Unfortunately there is no simple answer to this question, but there are a few things to understand when you’re wondering which way … Fireplace Safety for Your Home (video) A Wall of Fire grate is a high efficiency wood burning fireplace grate which features a unique, vertical design. The fireback improves the fireplace's efficiency by absorbing the heat from the fire and radiating the heat back into the room. Why Is Firebox Cleaning an Important Part of Chimney Service? Is Burning Wood Harmful to My Chimney or the Environment? By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Now, with the cost of modern heating rising at a steady rate, the highly efficient and environmentally friendly fireplaces and wood stoves are making a strong comeback. Because energy costs are a major factor for many industrial processes, it makes sense to carefully analyze how the natural gas is being used and whether the system is running at peak efficiency. Energy-Efficiency. A fireplace insert is the answer to making your old fireplace more efficient without having to replace it. Fireplaces are a great way to relax on a winter evening, but they aren’t the most efficient way to heat your home. Pictured: Regency HRI6E gas fireplace insert Trend 5: Heat You Can Turn Down (and up) All good points, David. But if the heat produced by the fireplace is the whole point, converting with a gas insert is a good way to keep money from going up the chimney and make your fireplace more efficient. One way to increase fireplace efficiency is by cracking the window closest to the fireplace. These features can be added to your fireplace to improve its operating efficiency. A highly efficient gas fireplace insert can lower your heating bill. When it gets cold, many people wonder if it is more fuel efficient to turn on their gas furnace or huddle around a gas fireplace. posted by GeeEmm at 5:00 PM on January 6, 2014 While the ease of installation and use is one of the most significant advantages, they bring to the table the reasonably low price is another factor that you need to consider. Northeastern Chimney, Inc. A fireback is a cast-iron reflector that is placed on the back wall of the fireplace, behind … When preparing to build a fire, start with some dry clumps of wood shavings or twigs to serve as tinder. For optimal performance and beautiful golden color flames, look for a gas fireplace insert with an efficiency rating between 70 – 85%. According to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, installing a gas fireplace in the area of your home where you spend the most time could lower your home heating bills by as much as 40 percent. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. This article has been viewed 92,150 times. A gas insert is a metal box which installed into your masonry fireplace. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Gas fireplaces or inserts don’t require as much maintenance as wood fireplaces, but they still need to be checked regularly by someone trained in fireplace service. Not too thick. The warmth you feel when you stand in front of the fireplace is radiant heat, which is rays of energy from the hot bright flames striking surfaces and heating them up.Warming a room or space using a single source of radiant heat is difficult because you have to wait until the objects warmed by the radiant energy start to give off their own energy in the form of convected heat. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. They can be pricey and it’s important to make sure they’re properly installed. Can I Use My Existing Chimney With a New Wood Stove? At the high end you can place a fireplace insert inside your firebox or replace your fireplace with a zero clearance, pre-fabricated metal fireplace. Here are some ways to make sure your set is as safe and efficient as possible. Before we get into how to make your fireplace more efficient though, let’s take a look at the most efficient fireplace types and do a little comparing. Regrettably, they are also a giant hole in the house. If not properly maintained and used, they can literally suck the heat out of a room when not in use. Gas fireplaces come in three types: inserts, for folks who want to retrofit a wood-burning firebox with something more convenient and efficient; built-ins, for those who want a fireplace where there isn't one now; and log sets, basic burners that sit in existing, open fireplaces. Chimney Dampers and How they Can Save You Money, Chimney Evolution – Elimination of Smoky Fireplaces, Chimney Inspections Are Similar to Medical Check-ups, Chimney Restoration: Time to Reevaluate Your Heat Source, Common Causes of Fireplace-Related Home Fires, Common Off-Season Chimney Repairs Made by Homeowners, Creosote & Chimney Fires: What You Must Know, Creosote in Your Chimney: Types, Causes, and Remedies, Crumbly Chimney Masonry and How to Prevent Spalling, Custom Fireplace Designs for Your Interior Fireplace. Those numbers do not mean much unless you know how gas appliances work. Wood-burning appliances are much better for the environment, not to mention that they are more enjoyable than central heating units. While homeowners are frantically looking for ways to save money, most don't realize that their dollars are readily escaping through one of the biggest holes in their home - their fireplace. How Can You Fix Your Fireplace & Chimney Problems? Chimney Cracks – Should You Be Concerned? Close it in the summer and reopen it in the winter when you're ready to use the fireplace. How Often Does a Chimney Need to Be Cleaned? Direct Vent Gas Fireplace Inserts. Burning seasoned wood that has been cut, stored and dried properly will produce more heat and burn cleaner. Do not switch to a ventless gas fireplace. By doing so, they lose the pleasures of an open fire but gain energy efficiency. To get the most out of your fireplace, it’s important to first determine if it’s supposed to be a nice household accent, an appliance that produces primarily visual appeal, or if it’s going to function as a supplemental heating system. Gas fireplace efficiency includes easy maintenance, so you have no ashes or soot in the chimney with a gas fireplace. If there is a damper, keep it closed any time you’re not using the fireplace. The last way you can make your fireplace more efficient is by only burning quality, well-seasoned firewood. With more emphasis on energy efficiency, enhancements have been made to the design of traditional fireplaces. Green or wet wood can cause too much smoke, odor and creosote build-up which can cause many problems with safety and efficiency. Generally speaking, gas fireplaces are listed and tested to an ANSI standard and cannot be modified, even if that modification might mean better efficiency. Fireplaces are a beautiful and fairly inexpensive way to heat a home. This standard evaluates all fireplaces including gas log sets. Current Natural Gas is the cheapest of the two types with the cost/therm being somewhere around $1.00/Therm. If this sounds like a good option for you, talk with a chimney and fireplace professional and get the details. One option would be to replace the gas logs with a proper (ie high efficiency) gas heater located elsewhere in the room/house, and just use the fireplace as originally intended (hopefully your fireplace has a damper which can be closed to prevent heat loss when the fire is not going). In the battle for most efficient fireplace, gas fireplace efficiency is always going to win over wood fireplace efficiency. It's possible to build a high efficiency fireplace using cast clay for the firebox and sheet metal for the stovepipe. Advancements in gas stove technology have paved the way to a more efficient, instant and controllable heat source, available at the push of a button or even remote control. Bailes. Methinks those who would make the argument that unvented gas fireplaces are more efficient than a furnace are simply grasping at straws to rationalize a dumb product. Open front gas fires look fantastic with their traditional open fire … How to Make Your Fireplace More Efficient, Keep Your Fireplace a Centerpiece All Year Long With These Tips, Less Money Goes Up in Smoke With These Fireplaces, Lower Your Home Heating Costs with a Fireplace Blower, Modern Fireplace Ideas for a Home Remodeling Project, National Fire Prevention Week 2014 – Smoke Alarms, National Fire Prevention Week 2016 Focuses on Smoke Alarm Safety, Nine Things You Should Never Burn in Your Fireplace, Older Homes Can Come with Potential Chimney Issues, Prevent Costly Chimney Repairs with Preventative Maintenance, Pro Tips for a Well-Maintained Chimney and Fireplace, Questions for Greater Fireplace Efficiency This Winter, Repair Your Chimney for Winter Warmth and Safety, Room Makeover with a Fireplace Mantel & Surround, Save Money – Practice Preventative Chimney Maintenance, Scheduling Your Chimney Inspection: Be Proactive Not Reactive, Spotting the Most Common Chimney Problems, Spring Cleaning: How to Clean Your Fireplace, Spring into Action with Your Annual Chimney Inspection, Spring into Action with Your Annual Chimney Inspection, Stay Cozy This Winter with the Right Fireplace, Switching Fuel Types in Your Fireplace can Lead to Spalling of the Flue. In both cases, these fireplaces are easier to install and more efficient burners all- around. Inflatable blockers known as “chimney balloons” can be purchased to fit above the damper and form a very secure air seal during longer periods when the fireplace isn’t in use. If your fireplace is equipped with glass doors, use them to decrease the draft flowing into the fireplace. Natural gas seeps were first discovered in China as early as 900 B.C. Then use a metal log grate, on which dry logs should be stacked with plenty of open space in between. How Easy is it to Add a Fireplace to a Home That Doesn’t Have One? But if the heat produced by the fireplace is the whole point, converting with a gas insert is a good way to keep money from going up the chimney and make your fireplace more efficient. Wood fireplaces definitely need a professional cleaning and inspection on an annual basis to make sure the unit functions at an optimal level. Direct-vent gas fireplaces are recommended for their efficiency; 70 percent of the heat they generate remains in the house. While wood fireplaces aren’t generally as efficient as gas models, there are things you can do to make improvements. How to make a fireplace more efficient: Increasing fireplace efficiency and eliminating a troublesome fireplace smoke problem is as simple as replacing your existing flat grate with a … Build a High Efficiency Fireplace (90% Efficient!) Compared to woodstoves, fireplaces are extremely inefficient: Fireplaces frequently only have 10 percent efficiency, versus 60 percent or more efficiency from a wood stove. A roaring fire is a great way to stay warm during those cold winter months, but you might be surprised to learn that fireplaces are not an efficient way to heat a home. Masonry Fireplaces. But release a lot of moisture into inside indoor air. They also generate significantly greater levels of radiant heat. Has the Icy Winter Damaged your Atlanta Chimney? Hi words where born out after only one season, when a huge stack of split logs vanished quickly and we needed to get more to see us through the winter. Build a High Efficiency Fireplace (90% Efficient!) In addition to saving us some precious time, gas fireplace inserts are also more efficient in comparison with some models reaching an efficiency rating of 99%. Direct vented to keep you warmer, improve indoor air quality and … An extremely simple step that can be taken to make your fireplace more efficient is to simply find the nearest window to the fireplace and to open it just a little bit. While this will only slightly alter the look of your fireplace, it can take it from a net energy loser to a helpful tool in keeping heating costs at bay. Because energy costs are a major factor for many industrial processes, it makes sense to carefully analyze how the natural gas is being used and whether the system is running at peak efficiency. It’s a lot easier than you might think to have an efficient gas fireplace insert installed in your current masonry fireplace. At the high end you can place a fireplace insert inside your firebox or replace your fireplace with a zero clearance, pre-fabricated metal fireplace. Burn dry wood: Oak, for example, burns hot and slowly, which will reduce smoke and ash, as well as the amount of residue … Propane is currently hovering around $3.00/gallon. Gas Log Fireplace Safety. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. To improve heating efficiency of fireplaces: Add glass doors to wood burning fireplaces. Chimney Brick Spalling: What it Is & What to Do About It. What Gas & Wood Burning Chimneys Have in Common. Inset, glass-fronted models tend to be the most efficient as they’re more enclosed. In my experience, no. Is Your Chimney Welcoming Unwanted Visitors? Natural gas seeps were first discovered in China as early as 900 B.C. Pellets, developed in 1970s to use waste wood from manufacturing processes, are a highly efficient way to burn wood and can be purchased in 40-pound bags. Some homeowners prefer to take advantage of the efficiency of a wood stove by placing the stove on the fireplace hearth and running the stovepipe into the fireplace chimney. Its purpose is to protect the back wall from fire damage, and usually features a design that adds to the home's décor. Methinks those who would make the argument that unvented gas fireplaces are more efficient than a furnace are simply grasping at straws to rationalize a dumb product. Fuel Efficiency Rating Most fireplaces have a fuel efficiency rating. What is a Direct Vent Fireplace & How Does it Work? By David Gustadson In fact, when we picked this fire up, the man who sold it to us second hand said he has had to upgrade to a new more fuel efficient and smokeless log burner and added he worked in the UK Environment Department. Most Efficient Fireplace Types: Gas vs. Wood-Burning Fireplace. They create a wonderfully cozy atmosphere and a dry heat that is a necessity in the winter months. Even though both systems look similar, both are installed in the corners of the floors and have the same size. Fireback. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Gas fireplaces use between 7,000 and 16,000 BTUs, are between 70 and 90% efficient at converting energy to heat, and cost around $60 a year to run.. Electric fireplaces have an output that is based on the electric current. Is it Easy to Convert a Wood-burning Fireplace to Gas? According to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, installing a gas fireplace in the area of your home where you spend the most time could lower your home heating bills by as much as 40 percent. The more heat that goes into making a room warmer, the more efficient a fire is. Gas fireplaces cost 17-19 cents an hour to run, or about $60 annually, Electric Fireplaces Direct says. This burden on the home, foundation, and ground beneath make them prone to settling. Fuel Efficiency Rating Most fireplaces have a fuel efficiency rating. This week, Ernie talked about re-building his dual-sided fireplace and adding a damper and tempered-glass doors in the process. Some have open flames and send emissions through metal B-vents; others have fixed glass panels with more efficient direct venting. It's possible to build a high efficiency fireplace using cast clay for the firebox and sheet metal for the stovepipe. Don’t Trust Your Home to Just Any Chimney Sweep, Enjoy the Vibe of a Fire All Year with an Electric Fireplace, Essential Areas Examined in Level 1 Chimney Inspections, Facts About Chimney Cracks & How To Repair Them, Fall is the Time of Year to Make Sure Your Chimney is Clean & Safe, Fire Prep To-Do List Before the Season’s First Fire. Why It’s Important to Close Your Damper in The Summer, Why the Lowest-Price Chimney Sweep May Be the Most Dangerous, Why You Should Inspect Your Chimney Flashing, Why You Shouldn’t Call a Roofer for Chimney Leaks, Why You Shouldn’t Neglect Chimney Maintenance, Why Your Chimney Is Leaning and What to Do About It. Convert wood burning fireplaces to gas logs. The largest of these types of fireplaces tend to be about 40,000 BTU and area anywhere from 65-85% efficient. Certainly, it isn’t worth your while to chop 100 logs to get 10 logs worth of fuel. 1155 McFarland 400 Drive, Alpharetta GA 30004, Chimney Solutions Main Office - 1155 McFarland 400 Drive, Alpharetta GA, 30004 / Tampa FL Web Design, “Rumfordizing” Fireplaces in Older & Newer Homes, 3 Compelling Reasons Annual Chimney Inspections are Worth the Cost, 3 Problems Common to even the Best Wood Stoves, 4 Common (and Uncommon) Problems a Chimney Sweep Can Resolve, 4 Reasons Why Fireplace Inserts Make Sense, 4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Fireplace in Winter, 5 Steps to Preventing Chimney Leaks during Spring Rainy Season, 6 Ways to Keep a Safe and Clean Fireplace Between Professional Cleanings, 7 Essential Tips for Safe and Efficient Wood-Burning Stoves and Fireplaces, 7 Reasons to Get Your Chimney Cleaned in Spring or Summer, 7 Reasons to have a Chimney Cleaning & Inspection even after those Mild Winters, 7 Tips for Off-Season Fireplace & Chimney Maintenance, After Labor Day is the Perfect Time for an Inspection, Basic Chimney Chores Homeowners Shouldn’t Forget, Before Getting a Chimney Liner, Ask These 7 Questions, Benefits of Having a Clean Fireplace & Chimney, Block Cool Air from Entering Through Your Chimney This Fall & Winter. 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