Fireplace and Chimney

The fireplace is an absolute must for maintenance and inspection. Although fireplaces are not energy efficient for most case, they can be a money saver if you have a wood source. They are also most efficient when a number of people are in the same room as the fireplace.

Buildup from smoke is a recipe for disaster. Over time creosote is layered onto the tile liners of the chimney from smoke. It happens to be a highly flammable byproduct and can start a chimney fire with an ignition source. A lot of small chimney fire occur without the homeowner even realizing! Gas burning fireplaces burn much cleaner and should only require an inspection each year. But, a wood burning fireplace needs to be inspected and cleaned each year. Check the flashing around the chimney if you perform the sweep from the roof (i.e. top-down method). The brick and mortar should be inspected for cracks, too At the fireplace do a quick inspection and cleaning. Visually check for cracks and smoke marks. Cracks should be repaired by a professional. Smoke marks could indicate blockage in the chimney (e.g. bird’s nest). Remove smoke marks with a vinegar and water.

Window and Door Seals

Keeping a home well sealed can tremendously improve the heating efficiency. The most common spots for air leaks are around the windows and doors. Visually the window caulking seal for gaps. Use a putty knife to remove the damaged seal and insert new caulk. Cracks will reappear if the caulk is applied too thinly. Inspect the weatherstripping around the perimeter of the doors. Replace any damaged areas with new material. Replace the entire seal, if required. Feel for drafts by running your hand around the edge of each door. If the weatherstripping is in good shape and there is still a draft, there might not be enough material to bridge the gap. It is possible to layer the strips on top of each other to seal larger gaps.
Furnace Cleaning and Inspection

The most important task for colder climates is servicing the furnace system. It is generally best to have a professional service this system. Furnace maintenance includes blower motor lubrication, burner cleaning, sensor checks, and carbon monoxide measurements. In between service calls be sure to regularly change the filter every couple months. Both the heating and cooling systems utilize the air filters so this will be a year-round task. Luckily, it is an easy DIY job and cheap.

Views: 92

Tags: door, fireplace, furnace, seal, window

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by MD on November 2, 2012 at 11:50am

It is always useful to be reminded of these simple steps that can make home a safer and more energy efficient place to be. Energy Auditor HQ

Comment by Tom DelConte on October 31, 2012 at 5:12am

Hello Tyler, Great post! I serviced my fireplace yesterday after the hurricane, and found yellow jackets and stink bugs in there. turning the propane burners on for 30 minutes didnt kill them, so was forced to resort to use chemical killers. After vacuuming out and replacing the insulated cover, ready to go for winter!

There are tricks which can be used for rejuvenating door seals which I will share in the future, but in general it's great to check your caulking. It's best to do all the furnace and heat pump maintenance stuff yourself in order to keep your costs down, and stay away from the potential high bids on replacement by your local hvac guy or home tester. Enjoy your winter!

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Latest Activity

Profile IconJeffery Liang and Ellen Phillips Soroka joined Home Energy Pros
Friday
Charles Cormany added a discussion to the group Job Board
Thumbnail

Energy Efficiency Incentive Program Manager - Efficiency First California (Berkeley)

Position Title: Program Manager Terms: Full time, available immediatelyAbout Efficiency First…See More
Thursday
Charles Cormany joined Diane Chojnowski's group
Thumbnail

Job Board

This group is for posting jobs related to all aspects of the home performance industry including…See More
Thursday
Linda Wigington liked Home Energy Magazine's blog post Art Rosenfeld's Legacy
Thursday
terry nordbye added a discussion to the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
Thumbnail

Combustion anaylizer Testo 310

This little beauty only has a few hours on it. Almost brand new in box.Sell: $350.Terry 415 669…See More
Thursday
Barbara Smith's video was featured

Indiana HCA...On Location - Celebrating 40 Years of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) interviewed two clients of Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Both homes were weatheriz...
Thursday
Home Energy Magazine's blog post was featured
Wednesday
Profile IconEfficiency First California and Kevin Daly joined Home Energy Pros
Wednesday

Home Energy Pros

Welcome to Home Energy Pros – the unique digital community by and for those who work in the home energy performance arena.

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (supported by the U.S. Department of Energy) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network. Please honor our Guidelines

© 2017   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service