How To Make Traditional Fireplaces More Efficient

How to make a traditional fireplace more efficient

A traditional fireplace uses coal or wood to produce a flame. While it’s no surprise that traditional fireplaces are less efficient than their gas counterparts, there are still ways you can increase the efficiency of your traditional fireplace.

How To Make Your Traditional Fireplace More Efficient

Here is how you can ensure that your traditional fireplace uses energy effectively.

Burn the Right Type of Wood

We recommend burning oak, maple, and birch logs. Doing so will produce more heat and less creosote. Creosote is a highly flammable, gunk-like chemical that can build up on your chimney and fireplace walls. Allowing creosote to form within your chimney increases the risk of a chimney fire.

To Close, Or Not To Close, Your Damper

Make sure that your chimney damper is open when you start your fire. Doing so will facilitate proper airflow so smoke can leave your house safely through your chimney. You should close the damper after the fire is entirely out and there are no more burning embers so that warm air does not escape your home.

Consider also installing a top sealing damper rather than a conventional damper. Top sealing dampers keep cold air out of your house during chilly months and warm air out during warmer months with their tight seal, saving you money.

Start Your Fire Correctly

Starting your fire correctly is the first step to an efficient burn. Here are some steps to correctly create your fire using traditional firewood.



  1. Open your damper
  2. Place crumbled newspaper below the grate.
  3. Stack wood in two rows in a crisscross pattern.
  4. Add kindling or newspaper on top of the firewood stack
  5. Prime the chimney flue. Doing so will save you energy by preventing cold air from flowing into your house through negative pressure. Light a newspaper and hold it above the damper to prime your chimney flue.
  6. After the draft has reversed, light the newspaper below your firewood to begin the fire.

For logs that burn within their respective wrapping, ensure the damper is open when you light the log and close the damper when it has burned out.

Schedule a Chimney and Fireplace Inspection and Cleaning with The Mad Hatter

Annual fireplace and chimney cleanings are another way to ensure that your traditional fireplace remains safe and energy-efficient. Our cleaning process works to remove creosote buildup from the walls of your chimney and fireplace. Feel free to click here or call (770) 740-8133 to contact our chimney service team!