Fireplaces are a classic feature of many older homes and provide warmth and comfort. However, if you leave your fireplace open when it isn’t being used it can cool your home and create uncomfortable draughts. This article looks at some easy and sustainable ways to keep heat from going up the chimney.
The simplest way to prevent heat from going up the chimney is by using a draught excluder, available in a range of sizes to suit most chimneys. These are essentially wool pads which can be placed into your fireplace and are designed to stop the escape of warm air from your room without restricting the flow of fresh air necessary to fuel a fire. These can be easily removed before lighting a fire and should be re-installed when a fire is not being lit.
Many older houses will have a metal plate known as a damper located within the throat of the chimney. This can be closed to help seal the system between fires and prevent heat loss, however, it must be opened before a fire is lit. A chimney balloon can also be inserted up the chimney and inflated to provide a similar function to a draught excluder, however it is much more durable and can be left in place for as long as you wish.
Priming the chimney before lighting a fire is another good method of keeping heat from escaping through your chimney. By placing a roll of newspaper and then lighting it, you are effectively introducing warm air into the chimney flue and this will help to start your fire much faster than normal, as it won’t be fighting against cold air. Similarly, closing all doors that lead into the room and opening the nearest window a few cm will also reduce your fire’s ability to draw cold air from outside into the room.