‘Tis the Season for a Fire in the Fireplace…
It snowed here yesterday. We went from a very warm fall to snow covering the ground in what felt like less than one week. Normally, we don’t have fires in the fireplace until closer to Christmas, but there is something about snowfall that begs for a fire.
I grew up in a home with a gas fireplace. So, when Jason and I bought a home with a wood burning fireplace, I wasn’t committing to using it. The room it was located in was freezing cold all through the winter and we talked about removing it all together. We knew that house was not our forever home and for resale value, we needed to leave a fireplace as a selling feature. We ended up pulling out the wood burning fireplace insert and adding a gas unit. It solved several issues, but that is not the most economical choice and was based more on personal preference.
We moved from that house into another that had a wood burning fireplace. We started to burn wood in the fireplace, and I discovered that I loved the way it filled the room with warmth. Our kids began to request for us to make a fire on a regular basis. Our living room was quite cold though, when we didn’t have a fire going. And, every morning after a fire, it was even colder from having the flue remain open as the fire died out.
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A Solution to the Heat Loss
I began to look for solutions to the battle our cold issue. The best option that I could find was a fireplace blanket. The price tag is steep, but heat rises. Even when you aren’t using your fireplace and the flue is closed, you are losing heat out of your chimney. After a fire burns and the flue must be left open while the embers die. There is no barrier at all to heat from your furnace following the warmth of the fire up and out of your house. The amazon description states, “Using the Fireplace Blanket can save up to Six dollars a night in lost energy. In the US alone, over Six Billion dollars of energy cost escape up the chimney each year.” Based on this claim, a fireplace blanket can actually save you money in less than one winter.
When we are ready to go to bed on an evening when we have had a fire, we leave the flue open, close the glass doors and cover the whole face of the fireplace with this blanket. It is made from heavy weight fire resistant material with five large magnets that hold it against the fireplace. In less than a minute, we can significantly cut the heat loss from our house overnight. In the morning, I close the flue, but I put the blanket back in place. It adds an extra barrier for heat loss all the time this way. Because it is black, like the fire box, I don’t find that it really hinders the aesthetic of the room at all. And, my living room feels warm, even when a fire isn’t roaring.