How Your Fireplace Could Be Costing You Money | Columbia Heating and Cooling Portland, Oregon
Written by Columbia HVAC

How Your Fireplace Could Be Costing You Money


Is your energy bill causing your hard-earned dollars to go up in smoke? Take a closer look at your fireplace usage. While a fireplace can provide cozy ambiance on a cold winter day, it can actually cause significant heat loss to your home and hike up your energy bill.

How? The fireplace damper. Open or unsealed dampers can raise overall energy consumption by up to 30%, or nearly $200 a year, even in a well-insulated home.

Additionally, burning a fire in your fireplace can actually create negative efficiency. Around 80 to 90% of heat produced in an open fireplace is lost up the chimney. Any warm air lost up the chimney has to be replaced by cold air from the outdoors, and then reheated by the furnace.

While the U.S. Department of Energy notes conventional fireplaces as being one of the most inefficient heat sources, there are still ways to enjoy your fireplace without sacrificing comfort or a significant increase on your next energy bill.

Here are 4 tips to get the most efficient use of your fireplace this winter.

  1. Examine your fireplace damper and damper seal on a yearly basis. Make sure that the damper isn’t worn out or bent. Ensure your damper is closed tightly when your fireplace is not in use.
  2. Install glass or metal doors or heat shields. Doors or shields installed in front of the fireplace will limit the amount of air that escapes when the fireplace is not in use. Consider installing glass doors on your fireplace to help keep cold air out.
  3. Choose a high-efficiency fireplace insert or wood stove. Replace your fireplace with a more energy efficient option, such as a wood stove or fireplace insert.
  4. Don’t use your fireplace as a primary heat source. Make sure your HVAC system is maintained and serviced yearly so that it’s the most efficient heat source in your home. You could be losing up to 5% efficiency of your HVAC unit if it isn’t properly maintained.

Contact us today to schedule a 20 Point A/C & Gas Furnace Tune Up. Stay prepared for the cold months ahead and save money on future replacement costs by keeping your furnace maintained and in great working order.