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Living Green - Your fireplace is an energy loser.
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Friday, December 19, 2014
Welcome to winter (the first day is this Sunday, actually)! 'Tis the season for lighting up that fireplace. Sixty-five percent, or approximately 100 million homes, in North America are constructed with wood or gas burning fireplaces.
Unfortunately there are negative side effects that the fireplace brings to a home especially during the winter home-heating season. Fireplaces are energy losers.
Scroll down to find out more and what you can do about it.
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Researchers have studied this to determine the amount of heat loss through a fireplace, and the results are amazing. One research study showed that an open damper on an unused fireplace in a well-insulated house can raise overall heating-energy consumption by 30 percent.
A recent study showed that for many consumers, their heating bills may be more than $500 higher per winter due to the air leakage and wasted energy caused by fireplaces.
Why does a home with a fireplace have higher heating bills? Hot air rises. Your heated air leaks out any exit it can find, and when warm heated air is drawn out of your home, cold outside air is drawn in to make up for it. The fireplace is like a giant straw sucking the heated air from your house.
An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a fireplace draftstopper. A fireplace draftstopper is an inflatable pillow that seals the damper, eliminating any air leaks. The pillow is removed whenever the fireplace is used, then reinserted after.
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