How to Get More Heat Out of Your Fireplace

Learn how to increase the heat output from your fireplace & prevent heat loss


The warm, cozy feeling of a wood-burning fireplace is hard to find anywhere else. Unfortunately, not all the heat it produces enters your home. It’s been found that a portion of that heat can actually be lost up your chimney. There are ways however to prevent this heat loss and increase the amount of warmth that your fireplace creates for your home.

FIREBACKS

A Fireback is a slab of cast-iron metal that is placed behind your logs. It is the most basic method of reclaiming heat that you’d otherwise lose. It will absorb heat as the fire burns and then radiate it out into the room, even once the flames die down. A great solution when you just want something simple, a Fireback will help to get more heat out of your fireplace.

FIREPLACE HEATERS

The main advantage with a fireplace heater is that it helps increase the efficiency of your fireplace. Giving your fireplace more time to heat the air that it draws in by circulating it through pipes or tubes, it then blows that hot air into your home.

It should be noted that you should never smell smoke with a fireplace heater. If you do, it has most likely been installed improperly. Also, fireplace heaters can accommodate some glass doors, but in most cases, when you’re using a heater, you’ll need to replace your doors. Call our expert technical team at 844.264.2855 for guidance.

Below are some of the top fireplace heaters offered by Woodland Direct. The Cozy Grate Fireplace Heater offers the most affordable price point, while the Wood Burning Fireplace Heater and the Fireplace Heater for Masonry Fireplace – 5 Tubes w/ Blower offer more power.

VENT-FREE GAS LOGS

Rather than drawing fresh air from outside, Vent-Free gas logs provide a greater amount of heat by circulating the existing air in the room. Equipped with an oxygen depletion sensor, it will ensure the oxygen levels in your room stay well above a safe level. If looking for efficiency, these logs are the way to go.

One downside, however, is that they produce a fair amount of moisture during operation. You may see condensation building up on your windows as a result—if so, just open one a bit to let in fresh air. One thing to keep in mind, Vent-Free logs should never be installed in a closed space.

Vent-Free log sets are designed to work with particular fireboxes—check your owner’s manual to find out if yours qualifies. You should also check with your local government for any regulations or restrictions related to vent free gas logs. Please note, too, that these units should always be professionally installed.

Vent-Free gas logs are a great solution if you’re tired of dealing with burning wood and you want to get more heat out of your fireplace. Check out our article on the Top 6 Ventless Gas Log Sets.

FIREPLACE GLASS DOORS

Fireplace glass doors are designed to work in conjunction with a damper. When you’re not burning in your fireplace, you can close both and create a stronger barrier to heat loss. Fireplace glass doors are generally not designed to be used while your fireplace is burning. If you want to do so anyway, consult your owner’s manual.

The Stronghold High Efficiency Fireplace Heater for masonry fireplaces works as both a set of glass doors and a fireplace heater. You can keep it closed while burning.

FIREPLACE INSERTS

Fireplace inserts replace the firebox in your existing masonry fireplace. They’re the best way to increase your fireplace’s efficiency.

A Ventless insert works similarly to a Vent-Free gas log set. If you’re considering Vent-Free gas logs, but your fireplace could use a bit of a cosmetic facelift, then a Ventless insert is a great solution.

A Direct Vent insert is a sealed system, so it completely eliminates the heat loss of other fireplace types. It exhausts gas outside your home and then brings in fresh air. If you’re looking for supplemental heat and you don’t want to lose any heat from the rest of your home, a Direct Vent insert is perfect.

A wood burning insert is the most powerful of the three insert types. With this insert, you’re essentially turning your masonry fireplace into a wood stove. It’s made to provide a lot of heat, and in some cases can even heat your entire home. If you’re looking for heating power over anything else, this is the insert to choose.

CHIMNEY DAMPERS

Top-sealing chimney dampers help eliminate a major source of heat loss by allowing you to close off your chimney when your fireplace is not in use. They basically function as a “lid” for your chimney, which you can open or close at will.

Without a damper, your chimney is an open path for heat to escape—you should always have it closed when you’re not actively burning in your fireplace. Yet if you are burning, make sure you keep it open. In any case, a top-sealing damper should never be used with vented or vent free gas logs.

The Lock-Top II Chimney Cap Damper and the Chim-A-Lator Top Sealing Chimney Damper are both great dampers that install quickly and easily.

CHIMNEY FANS

Chimney fans enhance your fireplace draft by pulling air up and out of your chimney. A powerful draft means higher burn efficiency and a hotter fire, resulting in more heat being pushed into your home. Chimney fans also help keep smoke and soot from exiting the fireplace, as the stronger draft pulls them up the chimney.

ROOM-TO-ROOM FANS

A room-to-room fan can be used to help transfer heated air from your fireplace’s room to the rest of your home. Simply mount it in a doorway and turn it on. You can even use multiple fans to set up a heat transfer network.

WE'RE HERE TO HELP

Woodland Direct offers a variety of different solutions for enhancing the efficiency of your wood-burning fireplace, but every situation is different. If you need help finding the right solution for you, call our NFI certified experts at (800) 919-1904.

MORE RESOURCES:

Read our Gas Fireplace Buying Guide to help you choose the right gas fireplace for your home!

What's so great about gas logs? Check out the Top 6 Advantages of Gas Logs to find out!

Want to know how your masonry chimney works? Here's everything you need to know!