It’s winter time and many of us are curling up by a warm fire to read a book or enjoy some quality time with the family. That’s great! BUT…After you’re done, make sure you close the fireplace damper or your warm air will go right out the chimney. As most people in the Northeast know, heating a home can be expense, so this mistake can be costly.
“The Good, The Bad, and the Pollution
If you burn a fast hot fire, this creates very little smoke and pollution, and it can give you a noticeable amount of radiant heat gain in the room the fireplace it is in. However, this fire is also using huge amounts of your heated inside air for its combustion which exceeds your heat gain ratio. A slower fire is even worse since you are still losing heated air out the chimney, getting very little radiant heat in return, and generating black sooty smoke. This black type of fireplace smoke is a terrible pollutant and contributes to respiratory irritant for people with asthma and allergies.
Wood burning fireplaces are wonderful nostalgic centerpieces for many American homes. But a homeowner should be aware of the issues associated with fireplace use and keep them from being an energy eater.” – from Greenbuildingelements.com
If the goal is to heat the home, the most effective and efficient way to do it, is forced air heat from a natural gas or electric heating system. Preferably, from a system that is EnergyStar rated.