We’ve been experiencing a real cold spell here in Indianapolis recently. While a wood-burning fire offers some much-needed ambiance and warmth on winter days, the heat provided is not always as substantial as you’d like when it’s 5℉ outside. When you’re fighting the freezing temperatures by your hearth, here are some tips to help maximize the heat from your fireplace and keep yourself warm.

Burn Seasoned Wood

Wood that has not been appropriately seasoned and dried smokes and does not burn as efficiently. In order to get a better heat pay-off burn seasoned wood. Keep in mind that oak and maple, though energy-dense, do not burn as hot as, say, Douglas fir does.

Open the Damper

When lighting a fire, make sure that your damper is as wide open as possible. This allows more air to flow to the fire, which in turn improves combustion and increases the amount of heat the fire produces.

Clean Your Chimney

Creosote build-up in a chimney is not only a fire hazard, it also restricts air flow to the fire and reduces the heat. It is crucial to have your chimney swept and inspected at least once a year.

Replace Your Screen

Swap out the screen in front of your fireplace for tempered glass doors. Keep the doors closed while the fire is burning to increase the temperature of the chimney and prevent the warm air in your room from drafting up and out.

Install an Insert

If you would really like to invest in heat efficiency, consider installing a fireplace insert. Inserts can be made to fit into your firebox and to help your masonry fireplace heat your home more effectively.

Your local Brick + Ember Outfitters are happy to consult on any fireplace issue. Please contact us with any questions and keep warm this winter!