There is nothing like a wood burning fireplace to warm your heart, hands and sometimes your feet. The problem is these types of fireplaces, as great as they look, can be very inefficient. This becomes exacerbated for those equipped with a metal flue or damper. The idea is to keep as much heat in the home as possible so let’s explore what can be done to do just that.
One inexpensive thing you can do is install what’s called a fireback. This is simply a cast iron plate that absorbs heat and radiates it back into the room. You can find these in many decorative designs to match just about any home décor.
Using a damper to seal the top of chimney is also a great inexpensive way to help hold heat into your home. Because a top sealing damper comes with an attachment made of rubber that is designed to have an air tight seal it is great to keep heat where you want it. This type of damper will replace the throat damper as well. Most throat dampers are made of metal and can rust and/or warp over time.
One type of heater that works with wood burning fireplaces are grate heaters. Tubes absorb heat from the fire in the firebox and a fan simply blows air through the tubes heating it as it makes its way through the tubes and out into the room. Most of these types of heaters have some sort of thermostat control whether manual or automatic. Again, this is a very affordable option to keep heat where you want it and not up the flue and out the chimney.
This last option costs a little bit more but is worth it in the long run for both safety as well as efficiency. Installing glass doors eliminates air from the room to be used for combustion thus making the fireplace more efficient. They also keep embers from flying out into the room preventing any accidental burns on children and adults alike. The last thing about glass doors is they look great in any home.
Hope that has given you several ideas and ways that you can improve the efficiency of your wood burning fireplace now and in the future.