Should You Use Your Fireplace and Central Heat Together?

Published On February 3, 2023

January and February are going to be cold, much more than other months from November to March. And if your home is equipped with a fireplace and central heating, you may be wondering whether it’s desirable—or even necessary—to put another log on the fire at the same time you nudge up the thermostat.

The answer to that question ultimately depends upon your type of home and whether you have properly cleaned and maintained your fireplace and have kept up regular inspections and maintenance on your central heating system (the furnace and the ductwork). Realistically, the U.S. Department of Energy claims that a fireplace that has not been routinely maintained can cause a significant increase in your energy bills. The DOE also reports that wood and gas fireplaces are the most inefficient methods for heating your home because of the lost heat that goes up the chimney, and because that convection draws cold air into your home through leaks around windows and doors. The primary cause for the heat loss is an open or damaged damper, estimated to raise your heating bill as much as $200 annually.

Thing is, a fireplace is not always used as a primary home heating source. Sometimes we want the crackle and light from a burning log to create a particular ambience on a cold winter night. And when that’s the case, there’s no reason not to use the fireplace and your central heating system in tandem.

For starters, at some point during the night, you’ll have to let the fire die down, and if you’ve turned off your furnace, it may take a long time to raise the inside temperature back to your desired comfort zone. Thus, your heater will have to work even harder than if you left it on. Also, while your fireplace will heat the immediate area, it is not an efficient way to heat the entire home because the heat from the fireplace does not travel through ductwork to all parts of the house. And keep in mind that it’s always safer to use your central heating system than to have an open fire inside your home.

The experts at Colley Refrigeration have the correct answers to your HVAC questions. We’ve been around for more than 40 years, and we’re always more than happy to help. Contact us today if you have questions or need HVAC services!

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