Fireplaces are an attractive feature for many homeowners. They can provide a nice cozy atmosphere and add a focal point to your room. Whether you already have a fireplace in your home or you’re thinking of adding one, there are some basic facts you should know first.
1. Traditional Fireplaces Are Very Inefficient
While they may provide an attractive glow, a traditional open fireplace is not a great tool for keeping a house warm. In most cases, virtually all of the heat will go straight up your chimney. That doesn’t mean they are all bad, however. If you are just looking for the look, sound and smell of a fire, they can be great. There are also ways to improve the efficiency of a fireplace so that is it a more effective heating unit. For example, a blower unit or stove insert can help ensure that more warm air goes back into the house.
2. Chimneys Must Be Services Regularly
Fireplaces are not once-and-done appliances. They need regular inspections and maintenance to ensure safe operation. That generally means calling in a professional for an annual check of the chimney and flue pipes. They will also do a thorough chimney cleaning & sweeping Maryland to remove creosote buildup. This byproduct of burning wood is highly flammable and poses serious health risks.
3. They May Not Be as Eco-Friendly as You’ve Been Told
There is a lot of talk about cutting back on fossil fuel use, however, turning to a fireplace is not necessarily a more environmentally friendly option. For starters, you will need to cut down trees to keep the fire burning. Then there is the impact wood smoke has on indoor air quality and respiratory health.
A fireplace can be a beautiful addition to your home. However, you should be aware that most are not good sources of heat, they can be harmful to the environment and your lungs, and they require regular cleaning and maintenance to operate safely.