Heat from a fireplace is kind of easy to get.
“All my heat is going up the chimney!” I have heard this so many times. Is it true? Well, yes and no.
It depends on a: size of fireplace b: size of fires you burn c: size of the flue d: how long burn each fire ( do you burn a fire for an hour before bed or all day?) e: too many other factors to discuss without your eyes glazing over.
Let’s make it simple.
Large fires burn the wood very fast and tend to send a lot of heated air up the chimney because the large flame makes the air move so fast upward. You will get heat from this type of fire but will use up a bunch of wood doing it. Wood is expensive in Atlanta.
Small to medium fires don’t make so much updraft. That gives the flame time to heat the side and back walls in the fireplace. The longer your fire burns the more the surrounding firebox can heat up. Hot bricks hold that heat and release it slowly over many hours.
The next thing you can do is something you will like…..don’t clean out the ashes so much! Leave several inches of ash under the grate, the more the merrier. The ash will get glowing red hot during a lengthy fire. This is just like the glowing coils on an electric heater. It will radiate heat into the room without the problem of the updraft that the actual flame has.
Some fire connoisseurs will mix well cured wood with greener wood to keep the fire going without burning up too fast. It also makes for more atmosphere with plenty of crackling and popping.
Fire size and chimney safety
One safety note here from Atlanta Chimney Sweep Pro. Creosote (the dangerous, flammable stuff) forms according to how big your fires are, among other factors. The best thing you can do to keep yourself safe, is to be consistent with the types of fires you have. If you have a lot of small and medium fires don’t decide one day to have a giant bonfire. Here’s why.
Creosote forms a certain distance above the flame. If you have very large fires all the time, the creosote will form higher up in the chimney where the flames can’t reach. If you have very small fires, the creosote forms much lower down. So then if you have a bunch of small fires, but one day decide you want to burn all your Christmas wrappers, the flames will actually lick up to the creosote and can light a chimney fire. Especially don’t put pine cones, gift wrappers, lot’s of twigs, or anything else that create a sudden, very hot, large flame with lots of sparks.
If you want to stop worrying and just enjoy your fires, just call your best Atlanta Chimney Sweep, US!
So here’s the formula in a nutshell: Small to medium fires, lots of ashes. That should get you your heat from a fireplace.
Heat From Fireplace