If you are looking to lower your home heating costs, consider the installation of a fireplace blower. Rather than lose an excessive amount of heat from a wood-burning fireplace out the chimney, a fireplace blower collects the heat and pushes it out into the house. The warmth generated by the fire is then put to good use. When fully utilized, heat from a fireplace can reduce the need for the central heating system in a home, thereby lowering monthly heating costs during the cold months.
How a Fireplace Blower Works
When a fire burns in a fireplace, the majority of the heat goes up and out the chimney. Consequently, fireplaces in their underutilized form are mostly for aesthetics. With a fireplace blower, the heat that is typically lost, is instead used. Fireplace blowers are most easily installed when they are fitted with the firebox and fireplace itself. Aftermarket fireplace blowers can be installed as well, but are not as common. The blower is essentially a high-powered fan that takes in the heat from a fire and distributes it into the room. The most common type of blower doubles as a fireplace grate. Made of heat-resistant metal tubing, the burning logs sit directly atop the blower. An intake valve sucks in the air from the room and heats it with the burning fire. At this point it is pushed back out into the room. The result is hot air that does not cost money to heat.
Temperature gauges come with some fireplace blowers. This enables the blower to automatically shut off once a certain degree has been reached inside, guaranteeing that the room does not get too hot. All that is typically visible on the outside of the fireplace is the cold air intake fan. It is usually a small, nondescript box that sits off to one side of the fireplace. The vents may be installed underneath the firebox (for pre-installed units) or directly in the firebox itself.
Advantage of Pre-Installed Fireplace Blowers
A pre-installed fireplace blower is advantageous because the entire system is basically one unit. The cold air intake channels air directly into the firebox where it is heated. After that, the blower pushes it into the room. Aftermarket fireplace blowers work as well, although they may require the glass fireplace doors to remain open which makes them a bit less efficient.
How a Fireplace Blower Can Save You Money
By pulling in cold air from the room, heating it and sending it back out into the room, a fireplace blower reduces the need for central heating whenever a fire is burning. The blower requires electric power to run the fan and blower, but uses less energy overall. The net effect is monthly energy savings. If you are in the habit of burning wood in your home fireplace during the colder months, consider installing a fireplace blower. This will, in effect, transform your fireplace from a mostly aesthetic fixture into an efficient heater that will warm a certain part of your home. It will save you money on energy that you would otherwise spend on continuous heater use.