Is Air Conditioned Air Escaping Through Your Fireplace?
There’s more to air conditioning efficiency than just SEER ratings. (SEER = Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating). After all, what good is a high efficiency AC unit if air is escaping through deficiencies in your home! Many air leaks aren’t obvious, and some are overlooked even though they’re hidden in plain sight – like your fireplace.
Fireplaces help warm us and our homes when the outside temperatures dip, but how do they impact us when summer rolls around? If you haven’t taken a look at the mechanics of your fireplace since the wintertime, it may be time to take a closer look. After all, no one wants their hard-earned cash to disappear out of their chimney!
How Can Fireplaces Pose a Risk to Your Home’s Energy & Air Conditioning Efficiency?
There are many places in your house where air or energy could seep out of your home: under the door, out the cracks in your window frame, your attic, etc… But probably the most obvious of them all is your fireplace, which is physically a huge hole in your wall that has a direct pathway to the outdoors. What can you do to prevent your air-conditioned air from escaping and lowering your air conditioning efficiency?
At the very least, you must close your chimney’s flue, which is the duct at the top of the chimney that allows gases to escape. The flue should always be closed when the fireplace is not in use, even if you use it each day. This way, the cool air won’t have anywhere to escape to the outdoors.
The chimney flue doesn’t always provide a weatherproof seal. In order to maximize your energy efficiency, you may want to use a chimney pillow or plug that you can remove easily when the time comes to use the fireplace again. These products often have a string or chain that hangs down for easy removal. Just remember to open your flue again and remove your sealing components, so you don’t get carbon monoxide poisoning the next time you want to use your fireplace in the winter!
If you’ve decided that you never want to use your fireplace and want to close it permanently, doing so will allow you to receive the maximum energy and money savings. It is recommended that you close the chimney flue with a metal cap and close the bottom of the chimney with insulation.
The Value of a Home Energy Audit
At Magic Touch Mechanical, we understand the importance of energy effectiveness and cost efficiency. No one wants to find that their house is leaking cool air, heat, or money.
One way that we at Magic Touch Mechanical help you save money and reduce the energy loss in your home is through conducting energy audits. An energy audit is where we use advanced technical equipment such as thermal image cameras to detect air leakages and air conditioning inefficiencies throughout your home. Our BPI-Certified energy auditors also physically go through the nooks and crannies of your home to make sure that we don’t miss any areas where you could be saving money. With the audit, we also tell you how much money those losses are costing you, how much what we’ve discovered will cost to repair, and how much you can save once your home is properly sealed.
If you believe your fireplace is one place where your home is leaking energy and savings, you can bet that our home energy audit can confirm it. Contact us today to schedule your home energy audit today.