Tuesday, January 23, 2007

BURNING SMART


On these chilly January nights, keeping warm is key and if you have a fireplace, you've probably been running your fireplace. For some, the burning logs provide warmth and relaxation, but others might see their fireplace as a way to cut down on fuel costs. Be careful, because that chimney can be an energy sink. When a fire is burning, up to 80 percent of heated air flows up the chimney and out of your home, and air heated by your heating system can also be pulled up and out as well! As warm air is drawn up the chimney, cooler air can be pulled into your home through leaks in doors, windows, and other openings, making your home heating system work overtime to warm things up again.

So what should you do? If you use your fireplace often, consider making it more efficient by installing glass doors. Vents along the bottoms or sides of the doors allow a small amount of air to flow into the fireplace, and the glass radiates the heat from the fire into your home, rather than outside. If you rarely or never use your fireplace, consider sealing the damper with weatherstripping to keep the cold air out.

Our friends over at Georgia Power have some more tips on fireplace efficiency at their web site: https://energycheckup.southerncompany.com/library/firepl.asp?mnuOpco=gpc&mnuType=res&mnuItem=ea

As long as we're stuck in this chilly weather pattern, you'll need these tips. Don't forget groundhog day is just about two weeks away.

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