4 Myths about Fireplaces

A smart consumer does their homework when making a big purchase for their home. As fireplace experts who have been in business for over 40 years, we’ve heard just about every fireplace myth in the book. We’re here to help you sort out fact from fiction when deciding on what fireplace option is right for your home.

Myth #1: Chimneys that are seldom used, don’t need regular inspections

One of the most important reasons to have your fireplace cleaned and inspected annually is to remove the buildup of creosote and soot in the flue lining. Creosote is the black flammable tar deposited on the walls of a chimney from wood smoke. However, the by-products of burning wood are not the only concerns you should have. The structural integrity of your chimney should be of just as much importance. Cracks in the masonry or liner, debris left by nesting animals, and moisture can all add to the breakdown of your chimney and ventilation system. Regular annual inspections will help you catch problems early and avoid costly repairs down the road.

Myth #2: Homeowners can save money by cleaning their own chimney

Unless you are an experienced chimney sweep, there is too much at risk when cleaning and inspecting your own chimney. Creosote, the by-product of burning wood, is quite difficult to clean from the chimney walls without the proper tools and know-how. An untrained eye is likely to overlook areas of damage both in the fireplace and up the chimney. When it comes down to it, a professional cleaning/inspection maintains the safe functionality of your fireplace and catches problems early before they can become expensive repairs.

Myth #3: Fireplaces are poor sources of heat

This myth comes from the fact that fireplaces send some of their heat up the chimney and wood fires need oxygen to burn which can pull warm air out of a room. However, there are fixes to these problems that can make your fireplace an efficient and cozy heat source for your home. The use of a fireback (typically a plate of cast iron) installed on the back wall of your fireplace will help to radiate heat back into the room.

Myth #4: Gas fireplaces are less fuel efficient than wood

In terms of cost, a wood burning fireplace will only win out if you happen to live in the forest with a vast source of free and easily obtainable fuel. Otherwise wood as a fuel source is one of the least efficient (around 25%) sources of producing heat for your home. Wood may produce more heat during burning but the majority of it is lost up your chimney. Natural gas creates slightly less heat but is much more efficient (70-99%) and is a fairly inexpensive form of energy. Even better- Many homes are likely to already have a natural gas connection, making a gas fireplace a welcome addition to your home.

Learn More About Fireplaces From the Experts at Creative Energy

Whether you’re thinking about a new fireplace or maintaining an existing one, Creative Energy has the knowledge and experience to help you with every step of the way. From conception to design, installation, and maintenance. Contact us today to get started.