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Have you ever sat by a campfire on a cold night and felt like, no matter how close you got to the fire, you just couldn’t stay warm? In a desperate attempt to warm your frozen limbs, you might have even contemplated sitting directly on the fire if it weren’t for…you know…obvious safety reasons.

Now imagine that same feeling, but with your once trusty and reliable fireplace. It doesn’t matter how big the fire is or how many layers you bundle yourself in, the chill persists in your home. It’s about as underwhelming as a lukewarm shower. If you’ve suddenly found yourself struggling to keep your home warm this winter, you’re not alone!

In fact, many homeowners wrestle with fireplaces that simply don’t deliver the cozy warmth they desire. But before you go and declare your fireplace a lost cause, The Chimney Doctor is here to figure out why it might be underperforming – and offer some troubleshooting tips that will transform your hearth back into a roaring success. Call or book online now to get started.

Why Isn’t My Fireplace Giving Off Enough Heat?

Nobody wants a fireplace that acts colder than their ex on Valentine’s Day. So, the first thing we need to do is identify the culprit. There are several reasons why your fireplace isn’t heating your home correctly including: 

  • Wet Firewood: Wet firewood – or the kind that hasn’t been properly seasoned – burns poorly, which means it’s really good at producing smoke instead of heat. The good news though, is finding the right type of firewood is a relatively easy fix. 
  • Poor Draft: Things like blockages, creosote, and debris buildup – or possibly even small critters – can create a weak draft within the chimney. These things trap smoke and suffocate the fire, so your fire is likely dying before it really starts to heat your home. 
  • Damaged or Deteriorated Damper: Think of your chimney damper as your fireplace’s thermostat. By opening and closing the damper, you’re able to control the fire intensity and desired heat. But if your damper isn’t functioning properly, or has deteriorated due to rust, it’s possible that it isn’t opening or closing completely. 
  • Inefficient Fireplace Design: You can’t beat the look, smell, and feel of a traditional wood-burning fireplace. …except that the open design actually loses most of the heat output up the chimney. Have you ever heard someone say, “What are you trying to do – heat the outdoors? Close the door!” An open fireplace is sometimes really good at heating everything but your home. 

How To Make Your Fireplace Heat More Efficiently

Everyone loves a cozy night by the fireplace. Thankfully, if you’re disappointed with your fireplace’s heat output, there are ways to keep the fire alive while turning it into a mean, heat-generating machine. Let’s take a look at a few:

original infographic on how to boost fireplace efficiency
  • Use Seasoned Hardwood: The term “seasoned” means wood that has been chopped and stored in a dry, well-ventilated place for at least six months – and the best hardwoods for a fireplace include oak, hickory, maple or birch. Remember, bigger isn’t always better. Choose logs that fit your fireplace rather than cramming oversized pieces of wood that struggle to ignite in hopes of having to avoid hauling firewood more frequently. 
  • Schedule a Chimney Checkup: Prioritizing yearly chimney sweeps and inspections means you’re less likely to experience a chimney fire, face expensive repairs, spend more on heating bills, or deal with pesky fireplace efficiency issues. That’s because yearly sweeps make sure there are no obstructions or creosote buildup that can catch fire, while an inspection gives us a chance to look over the entire chimney system and give you an overall condition report. 
  • Open the Damper Fully: Learning how to use your damper effectively is part of the fun! In order to achieve a hot and roaring fire, try opening the damper fully. This allows proper draft so oxygen can fuel the flames. Think of it this way – more air means more power! But remember to adjust the damper accordingly in order to maintain a steady and comfortable warmth, and don’t forget to close it when the fireplace isn’t in use so you don’t lose any heat.
  • Add Glass Doors: Adding glass fireplace doors is not only a sleek way to update your fireplace, it also helps reflect heat back into the room, preventing drafts from stealing your warmth. Think of it as a thermal blanket on your fireplace. 
  • Upgrade to a Fireplace Insert: If all else fails, or you’re just ready to upgrade to a convenient and easy to use fireplace, then an insert might be in your near future! These can be placed into your existing fireplace and offer significantly higher heat output and efficiency, making them a worthwhile investment. 

Turn up the Heat Without Breaking the Bank With Chimney Doctor

If you’re concerned about your chimney’s performance or are simply looking for professional advice on how to maximize your fireplace enjoyment, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Chimney Doctor. We’re here to answer your questions, address your concerns, and provide personalized solutions so you can make the most of your fireplace all winter long. 

You can schedule your appointment right here on our website, or give us a call at 970-234-3330.