How to Maximize Fireplace Heat

Written by james clark
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How to Maximize Fireplace Heat
A clean fireplace with a fireback installed can radiate more heat into the room. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Increasing the heat from your fireplace can help curb winter heating bills. Cleaning the fireplace helps wood burn more efficiently, but you also need some way to radiate more heat from the fireplace into the room. Much of the heat from a fire rises up the flue where it is expelled through the chimney. To direct more of that heat into the living space where it will do some good, you need a device known as a fireback. A fireback is a heavy steel or cast iron plate that fits in the back of the fireplace to radiate heat outward. These are available at hardware and home improvement stores.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Whisk broom and dustpan
  • Fireback

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  1. 1

    Spread newspapers around the hearth to catch spills.

  2. 2

    Remove the log grate from the fireplace when it is cold and sweep out all ashes and debris, using the whisk broom and dustpan.

  3. 3

    Slide the heavy metal or cast iron fireback to the back of the fireplace where it will stand up against the interior back wall.

  4. 4

    Twist the two bolts on each side of the fireback to press them against the side walls of the fireplace. This secures the fireback against the masonry. The fireback is curved slightly to help reflect heat back into the room.

  5. 5

    Light a fire in the fireplace, leaving the glass or iron doors fully open, if you have doors over your fireplace. Pulling the steel mesh screen closed over the fireplace prevents sparks from shooting into the room, but allows heat to reflect outward from the fire.

  6. 6

    Add more logs to the fire as quickly as the previous logs burn down to red and orange coals. This sustains and maximises the heat with the aid of the fireback reflector, which radiates heat into the room.

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