2010 Weather Ionization test

Q: I am a renter that recently talked my landlord into allowing me to use the fireplace in my half of the duplex.

I am noticing a large draft created by the fireplace and have read about my gas heat going up the chimney.

I want to install an outside air source for the fireplace but am having trouble finding instructions for doing so. – AY

A: AY, Any adjustments you may do to the fireplace to create heat will cost in excess of $1500 for certain.

That is a mighty generous gift to a landlord. I hate to be the voice of doom on fireplaces but most open fireplace let heat out despite the damper when they are not being used, and they really suck heat out when they are being used or any time the damper is open.

There are some things you can do to improve the efficiency slightly during the burn, but they will not counteract the loss you will experience in furnace heat.

My best advice if you are looking to save heat and money in the winter. Plug up the chimney nice and tight with a Chimney Balloon (don’t rely only on your damper by itself to stop heat loss). to generate cheaper heat, talk with your landlord about how old the furnace is and how efficient it is.