Fireplaces (Heat Losers?)

Fireplaces may be romantic and produce that wonderful crackling sound. They are also: messy, time consuming and tend to be net heat losers. First you carry the wood to the fireplace, open the damper, make the fire, wait for the fire to produce some heat, keep the fire going and before you know it, the fire is out. But you must keep the damper open for at least 12 more hours in order to keep the dying fire and warm ashes from depleting the oxygen in your home.

In most cases, the amount of heat lost by going up the chimney after the fire is out is much greater than the heat produced while the fire is going. The shorter the fire the greater the net heat loss.