Woodworking Tips
Woodworking Tips Index

Sealing Fireplace Air Leaks

Although a crackling fire is great on a cool, autumn night, a fireplace is one of the weakest links in conserving your home's energy. That's because the only thing that stands between the warmth of your home and the cold, outside air is a cast iron plate called a damper (see drawing at right). The damper is designed to control airflow while a fire is burning, but it does little to prevent heat from escaping when the fireplace isn't being used.

One trick I found to help retain this heat is to add a piece of 2" rigid foam insulation to fit the upper section of your firebox. To make the foam easy to remove (and to act as a visual reminder that the foam is still in the fireplace), it's a good idea to install a rope in the foam, as shown in the drawing at right.

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