heat loss

Is Your Chimney Adding to Your Heating Bill?

heat lossIt’s winter and cold weather is here, which means higher energy bills and potential heat loss in the home. While homeowners are quick to blame drafty windows for energy loss, they might not consider the impact that the chimney or fireplace has on your heating bill.

The short answer is yes: your chimney might be adding to your heating bill. But how?

Problem #1: Cracks in the Chimney

The chimney flue is a duct, pipe, or opening in the chimney that vents flue gasses up and out of the home.

If there are defects with the flue, this can be reflected in your energy bills. For example, when the flue lining expands, it can lead to vertical cracks which are an escape route for heat inside the home. A chimney flue liner can help remedy the situation and provide extra thermal insulation.

Problem #2: Dampness in the Flue

When the flue becomes damp, humidity combines with sulfates and accumulates. Over time, the acids destroy mortar joints and brickwork in the fireplace. These minuscule cracks are yet another area where energy is lost from the chimney.

Problem #3: Open Damper in an Unused Chimney

If you aren’t using your chimney during the winter, you can help reduce heat loss by closing the damper. The damper is a small flap inside the chimney that is typically made from metal or cast- iron.

Problem #4: Damaged Damper

Since dampers sit directly above the heat of the fire, they can warp or damage over time. If the damper is cracked or does not fit snugly in place, energy will escape even if the damper is closed, sending the heat from your home directly out the chimney.

Prevent Energy Loss with Chimney Inspections

Unfortunately, it’s easy to overlook areas where energy may be lost from your chimney or fireplace. The best course of action is to hire a chimney sweep to perform a flue inspection. This can help you detect any trouble with your chimney and prevent energy loss this winter and beyond. Contact us now by calling 781-893-6611.

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