Heat your House with your Fireplace by Moving Hot Air
Whether you live in a snowy region or a moderate winter climate, saving money on heating costs is typically considered an idea worth looking into. One way to shut off central heating and yet stay toasty warm is by moving the hot air from your fireplace throughout the home. Your fireplace should be a pellet stove fireplace or should be fitted with a fireplace insert, so that the heat of fires isn’t lost up the chimney. Modern fireplaces are extremely efficient. With the right planning and techniques, you can move the hot air produced by your fireplace and enjoy the appliance as a cost-cutting supplemental heat supply.
Options for Moving Hot Air
There is a science to moving hot air to different spaces in a home, and there are a few options for achieving it. The type of fireplace you have and the layout of your home can both determine which method for circulating hot air is the most viable. The most ideal layout is for your fireplace to be on the main floor in a centralized main living area or an open concept space. If a home is a sprawling ranch style, the fireplace is ideally in the center area.
- A basic strategy that many homeowners are already familiar with is reversing the direction of ceiling fans. During summer, fans should turn counterclockwise so that air is pulled down. This makes a room feel cooler because of a so-called “wind chill effect.” In winter, the blades should turn clockwise. This pulls cooler air upwards. The warmer air from the fireplace that naturally has risen toward the ceiling is then moved down into the living areas of your home. If your fireplace is in a common or central area of the home, the use of ceiling fans can do a great job of effectively circulating the warm air.
- If your heating and cooling system includes a forced air function, turning on the system’s fan will do the job of circulating the warm air from your fireplace. This system is most effective in smaller homes and houses with an open design.
- You can install fans in your doorways, in an upper corner. Even a box fan can move hot air effectively. When using a box fan, turn it on low and position it to blow into the area where the fireplace is. Blowing cool area toward the fireplace forces the hot air away from the appliance. If your fireplace is in a small room, the box fan can do a good job of moving the hot air into larger spaces.
- If these strategies don’t achieve the desired results, an additional step is that you could add open transoms over your doors. Transoms are little windows that stay open even when the doors are closed, but don’t install glass. The transoms will further improve airflow.
A Simple Airflow Test
Not sure if the hot air from your fireplace is moving into other rooms? Tape a small streamer such as crepe paper or toilet paper to the top of doorframes. Movement of the streamers is evidence that the air is moving.
Why not save money on utility costs before facing another high heating bill in winter? Contact any of our member stores for information about efficient fireplaces and accessories for circulating hot air. We can help get the hot air from wood-burning fires moving to every part of your home.