Going green affects every aspect of your life and gives you a whole new way to think of things and a whole new ‘compass’ to help you guide decisions and actions. It can affect almost every aspect of your life and you’d be very surprised at just how all-invasive it can be. Case in point: fireplaces. Most likely you would think that choosing a fireplace has very little to do with going green – but you’d be wrong and in fact there is a very green-friendly way to think of fireplaces and they provide just one more way for you to improve your carbon footprint.
First and foremost your fireplaces are going to help you go green however you use them and these are a very eco-friendly way to enjoy a warm heat. The reason for this is that they create an ‘oasis’ of heat which means that they heat up just the room they are in and even more specifically just one part of the room. This helps with going green because it means you can selectively heat just one room instead of turning up the central heating and then having to heat up the whole home. At the same time though these fireplaces will also help because they burn very natural fuel sources such as wood, coal and natural gas. This all means that you aren’t using power plants – unless you are using electric fire places.
So that then is the first way to go green with your fireplace – choosing the fireplace wisely. Wood burning fireplaces and natural gas fireplaces are preferable to coal or electricity in terms of the pollution they will cause, and at the same time you should look for fireplaces with the highest efficiency ratings possible.
You can also make your wood burning fireplaces more heat efficient through the addition of fireplace inserts. These fireplace inserts help to prevent you from losing from your fireplace by sheltering the fire, sucking in the air from around the room, heating it up and then blowing it back out. That in turn then means that less hot air is lost through the chimney itself.
Another thing to consider is the chimney flues you are going to use. Chimney flues essentially fit around the inside of your chimney so that they aren’t just brick. These in turn prevent the heat from damaging the brick and they encourage the smoke to direct itself up and out of the chimney. Choose steel flues which are more resilient than aluminum flues – you’ll be able to get a chimney sweep to install them for you.
To improve efficiency further and to really go green you also need to add insulation to your chimney flues. This insulation will cover the outside of the metal flues and thereby make them more insulating. That makes the chimney a lot less cold and means it retains more heat. Already this will make your chimney more energy efficient and help you go green, but at the same time it will prevent down drafts which occur when the bottom of the chimney is warm and the top is cold (because hot air rises this means that air pressure is lower around a fireplace causing more air to rush in and full the pocket). If the chimney is a similar temperature all the way up thanks to insulation then the air won’t rush down and it won’t make your room cold or put out your fireplace. More efficiency again.