Your open fireplace may not be as efficient as you think.
Open wood heating fireplaces have been around for centuries and were traditionally used for heating and cooking. There were no alternatives. Many homes, both new and old, have open wood burning fireplaces today.
Open fireplaces – The Good
There is nothing quite as relaxing and comforting as sitting around an open fire on a cold, frosty and freezing day or night. An open fireplace is also a decorative feature in your space. It displays a warm and inviting aesthetic even when it is not in use. Many home-owners keep their open fireplaces just for this purpose.
Open fireplaces – The Bad
They are very inefficient at heating. Studies show that 90% (depending on your chimney design) of the heat from an open fire goes up the chimney. Read more about open fireplaces and chimneys. To keep your area comfortable you need to supplement with other energy sources, all of which are expensive. You are not only burning fuel, you are also burning your money.
When the chimney is not in use, it is a corridor for air to flow in and out of your home. This means your energy costs are much higher as you try and counter the air loss through your Chimney. When your chimney is not in use there is a simple and low cost solution to stop the air leakage. Find out more here.
Sealed combustion heaters are more efficient and without the chimney hazards of an open fireplace.
Open fireplaces – The Ugly
Wood smoke is a major cause of air pollutants. It is both detrimental to humans, animals and the environment’s health. Beth Gardiner, author of Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution, provides insightful facts and findings about the severity of wood smoke across the world.
In her book the author says, ‘Nothing is as elemental, as essential to human life, as the air we breathe. Yet around the world, in rich and poor countries, it is quietly poisoning us.’ This book helps us understand the ugly truth about wood burning fires.
When you are aware of the good, the bad and the ugly of open wood burning fireplaces it’s worth taking sometimes to think about how you can make a difference to your energy costs, your footprint, and maintain the aesthetic features of your open fireplace. Find out more here ecoMaster.com.au