Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate
555 Walnut Street
5th Floor Forum Place
Harrisburg, PA 17101-1923

Phone: 717-783-5048 or toll free 800-684-6560
Fax: 717-783-7152


Consumer Tip for January 2004

Toll Free Number


 (PA only)


You may enjoy a roaring fire in your fireplace but you should consider how the fire affects your home energy use. The toasty warmth right in front of the fire comes at the expense of pulling your home's already heated air right up the chimney. Consider these options for putting heat back into your home:

  • Make sure you purchase tight-fitting doors for your fireplace. You want ones that will seal the opening and stay closed even if a log rolls against them. Make sure the doors do not have quartz glass that can prevent heat from radiating into your home.

  • A heavy cast iron plate, called a fireback, sets in the back of your fireplace. As the fireback gets hot from the fire, it radiates its heat out into your living area.

  • Special grates, on which you stack the wood, can circulate the heat from the fire into your home. Sometimes they have a small blower to bring in the room's cool air and then transfer the warm air back. You could actually warm a few rooms preventing your furnace from running at all while the fireplace's heat circulates.

  • Finally, remember fireplace safety. To protect against house fire, have your fireplace, flue and chimney inspected and the chimney cleaned once a year.


Back To OCA Consumer Tips Archives


Commonwealth Website