Is It Possible To Heat Some Or All Of Your Home With Your Fireplace

Many people enjoy sitting in front of a fireplace, but the truth is, fireplaces aren't exactly known for their home heating capabilities. The warmth from a fireplace typically stays immediately around the fireplace itself. However, it is possible to use a fireplace to heat your home or to augment your heating system.

It's All About Moving Air

Getting your fireplace to heat more than just the hearth requires you to figure out ways to move the heated air around. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you will also have to figure out a way to keep air from escaping up and out of the home through the chimney.

There are quite a few ways to move air. There are also appliances you can have a heating contractor install to help.

Sometimes It's Best to Leave the Fireplace Out of the Equation

Sometimes, the fireplace is the biggest culprit when it comes to ineffective home heating. While it's possible to use a fireplace to partially or fully heat a home, you may want to consider not using the fireplace at all. If you don't have a seal or damper for the chimney, then warm air will fly directly up and out of it.

Make Use of Fans to Circulate the Warm Air

One of the easiest ways to move your fireplace heat around is with fans. If you have ceiling fans, let them spin in reverse (counterclockwise), and on the slowest setting.

The fans will grab the heat, push it up and force it along the ceiling, then down the walls to warm the space. It may not heat the whole home, but it can certainly warm up a single space.

A series of fans placed strategically can help to keep the warmer air in rotation. Note that air can escape through vents as it moves around. Also, note that hot air rises, so there's only a limited amount of things you can do with fans on the floor. Make sure to angle them. Also, keep them on the lowest setting.

It can help to install a fireback. These pieces of metal can help radiate more heat for the fans to catch and circulate.

Install Fireplace Fans to Help Push Out the Hot Air

There are many fan products designed specifically for fireplaces.

These can allow you to use your fireplace as a makeshift furnace. The fans will blow the heated air out before it has a chance to rise up in the chimney or escape through a vent.

Advanced Methods of Heating Your Home with the Fireplace

If you want to get a little more serious about using your fireplace for home heating, there are several other paths you can take. 

Add a pass through ventVenting will allow you to move the heat directly from the fireplace to other areas, much like a furnace.

Add a fireplace insertAn insert will give you more control over the heat your fireplace produces.

Convert the fireplaceConverting to a gas fireplace will allow you to use your fireplace more for heating.

Connect the fireplace – You can fully integrate your fireplace into your HVAC system in such a way that it really can work as, or with, your furnace or heat pump.

These advanced methods will require professional evaluation and installation. Sometimes, you may need a full fireplace installation or replacement or a fireplace repair technician to take full advantage of a fireplace's heating capabilities. This is especially true if your current fireplace is too outdated or inadequate for the job.