|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.