Total Chimney Care's Blog

The Science of Combustion

Homeowners should see to it that their heating systems are efficiently following the combustion process. This can save them money and ensure their safety.

Homeowners should see to it that their heating systems are efficiently following the combustion process. This can save them money and ensure their safety.

By Steve Sobczak on January 29th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Turn Up the Heat!

Good Draft = Good Performance

Traditional fireplaces create a comforting ambiance on a cold winter day, but the warmth, unfortunately, is usually more show than substance.  The explanation is 100% science-based really.  We’re all aware that hot air rises; as such, the majority of the heat produced by your fire attempts to escape through your chimney.  Not only that, this fleeing hot air creates an updraft that sucks even more warm air up and out of the room.  If you really want to maximize the heat output of your fireplace, keep reading.

Burning dry, seasoned wood is one way to maximize safety and performance.

Burning dry, seasoned wood is one way to maximize safety and performance.

Start with Good Materials

An easy first step to increasing the performance of your fireplace is to burn seasoned firewood.  Freshly cut (green) wood burns inefficiently and produces large amounts of smoke with little to no real heat to speak of.  The majority of the heat energy produced from burning the wood is used to evaporate the excess moisture in the wood rather than going into heating your home; this excess moisture also attempts to put the fire out as it’s burning.  Seasoned wood, on the other hand, has had ample time to dry and burns much more efficiently than its green counterparts.

Once you’ve got your seasoned firewood arranged in the fireplace, you can open the damper as wide as possible to increase the amount of air to the fire.  More science: this will improve the combustion and increase the amount of heat produced by the fire.  It’s important to note, however, that one drawback to this increased combustion is that your wood will ultimately burn faster (loosely translated, you’ll have to add seasoned wood more often to get a continuous flow of heat).

Keep It Going

Having your chimney inspected and cleaned by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep yearly can also make it possible to boost your heating performance, as the process removes creosote buildup inside that can significantly restrict air flow.  Once your fireplace and chimney have been cleaned, you can replace the screen in front of the fireplace with tempered glass doors, and keep the doors closed while the fire is burning.  Doing this will increase the temperature of the fire in your fireplace and reduce the amount of warm air that the fire draws from the room.

Following the steps mentioned above will enable your fireplace to provide your home with more heat than it might otherwise produce.  We take pride in the service we provide to each and every one of our customers.  Take a minute to call or ask one of our technicians what is available for your particular unit that can help it last longer and/or perform better.  One call is all it takes!

 

By Steve Sobczak on November 30th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment