Monday, October 21, 2013

Fireplaces and Attics Can Waste Your Money

Heat rises! You know it does. Places like attics and fireplaces when not in use, allow the air that you pay to keep warm  float right out the roof.

Enough insulation in your attic will make a big difference in your heating bill, but if your attic door is leaking warm air up and out, you still will be paying more than you need to. There are special bats that cover attic doors, or you can cut one to fit the door. You'll need to tape it on to keep it in place when you close the door. Weatherize the edges, too, with strips they make for doors, or make your own from felted wool. Just cut strips and use white glue to attach them.

Fireplaces are great for cold weather, but they don't heat well unless they're equipped with a "heatilator," which are pipes going through the masonry and opening into the room, carrying the heat that would otherwise escape up the chimney. Some fireplaces work better than others due to their mass and the way it's arranged.

More than losing heat through the chimney when it's burning, a fireplace loses heat through an open damper when it's not burning. You can't reach in to the chimney to close it until the fireplace fire is out and fairly cold, so there is a lot of hot air going right up and out. Close it as soon as you can, but don't forget to open it before building the next fire!

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