If You Have a Fireplace, You May Be Using It Wrong

Throughout the centuries, fireplaces in homes have provided families with comfort, warmth, and a steady burning flame to prepare the day’s meals over. In more modern settings, fireplaces in the home are used as a focal point because of their visual appeal and are often decked out with decorative fireplace accessories. While some accessories are purely designed for visual stimulation, fireplace doors not only add beauty to the fireplace, they serve a very specific purpose. Without fireplace doors on the fireplace, homeowners can lose hundreds of dollars up the brick chimney. Compare it to having a wide-open window. With an open window, your appliances would be continually running, fighting to keep your indoor climate controlled. Even having a damper that shuts off your flue doesn’t prevent air exchange or heat loss. Fireplace doors act as a barrier, sealing off the opening and keeping your heat in and the cold out. Fire needs oxygen to burn and to continue to burn. Keeping your fireplace doors wide open while lighting your fire will help ensure a constant stream of oxygen to get it lit. Once lit, your fire can be maintained by adjusting how wide your doors are open. The wider the opening, the more airflow. That can be a problem if you already have a pretty good fire going, causing it to burn very dull, small, or even go out altogether. Closing the doors just slightly to lessen the airflow will help you get a bigger, prettier flame, with more heat output. It’s important to remember that while the fireplace is burning the doors should remain open because excess heat buildup from having them closed can result in the hot glass cracking. When the fireplace is not in use, the doors should remain closed.