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Home The Heating Efficiency of Wood Fireplaces
Home The Heating Efficiency of Wood Fireplaces

The Heating Efficiency of Wood Fireplaces

Wood fireplace heating efficiency

Who doesn’t love a fireplace? It’s perfect for wintertime, and it’s more than just a heater for your home—it also adds ambience and style. A good fireplace can also be the centrepiece of a room, something to talk about, and for people to gather around. Depending on your energy situation, it can even be more cost-efficient than a typical heater setup.

If you’re a homeowner considering a fireplace, it can be a great opportunity to increase your home value. It can also help you save on energy bills and cut down costs. If you’re environmentally conscious, swapping from using an electronically-powered heater to a fireplace is also better for the environment.

The Areas A Fireplace Can Heat Sufficiently 

Whether a fireplace can heat an area sufficiently will come down to a few factors. These factors include:

  • Home insulation
  • Location of the fireplace
  • Fuel source
  • Design of your home


Fireplaces can heat any area of your home or room, regardless of size. However, the above-contributing factors will decide how efficient and how long it can keep the space warm. Although fireplaces are typically installed in the front entrance of a home or living room, they can be installed anywhere.

If you’re looking to install a new fireplace, the best way to ensure it can heat a space sufficiently is to ensure it’s placed in a central location. For example, if you want to heat your entire house, you’ll want to place it in a central room, such as in your lounge room or kitchen. That way the heat will spread throughout your building evenly.

The saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ applies to fireplaces. Traditional fireplaces have existed since the early centuries and have been used in Australian homes since they started building them. Fireplaces have always been an effective option for heating, whether it’s for a singular space, like a bedroom or living room, or for the entire home.

How Long Does A Fireplace Keep Areas Warm

The duration a fireplace will keep an area warm will depend on a few factors. This includes the location of the fireplace, the insulation of the room, as well as the settings and firewood used.

If you’re looking to use the fireplace for more than just the ambience and want the heat to stay, we recommend sticking with ‘seasoned’—dried—wood. If the firewood you use has any moisture in it at all, this can cause more smoke to be emitted and also reduces the amount of heat emitted from the fireplace.

We recommend looking into the model of your fireplace or even speaking to one of our professionals if you’re unsure. That way, you can learn more about your type of fireplace and maximise its potential.

When looking into how long a fireplace can keep an area warm, it’s important to understand the terms burn time and heat output. The burn time is the duration of time it takes for the fireplace to burn a single load of wood, while the heat output (BTU) is the heat the fireplace radiates.

It’s impossible to maximise both. However, if you’re looking to keep a space warm for a long time, you’ll want to maximise the burn time. Some fireplaces, depending on the design, can keep burning the same load of wood for as long as 8 hours, and if the house is well insulated, it’ll keep the area warm for even longer.

Tips For Increasing The Efficiency Of Each Fireplace

Increasing the efficiency of your fireplace will depend on its design, your home, as well as the fuel sources you have available. Our tips will help you increase efficiency, keeping your space warmer for longer.

  1. If you have a traditional fireplace, installing a fireplace insert can improve efficiency by at least 10-fold.
  2. A great way to improve the efficiency and quality of the fire your fireplace produces is through seasoned firewood. ‘Seasoned’ firewood refers to dried firewood. In comparison, wood from a fresh-cut tree produces much more smoke—and a smokey fire doesn’t produce as much heat. 
  3. It’s important to get your fireplace’s chimney regularly cleaned. The soot that builds up from regular fireplace usage can hinder how well your fireplace burns wood and reduce heat output.
  4. If you find that your home isn’t retaining the heat from your fireplace well, it might be time to invest in better insulation. If you’re looking to maximise your home’s heating, it’s important to ensure that your ceiling and walls are well insulated. This will help keep heat in, especially when you’re using a fireplace. 
  5. Use heavier curtains in the rooms around your house. Once you’ve heated an area with your fireplace, the curtains can help by trapping the warmer air in the room.

Efficient Fireplace Heating With Home Fires

If you want an efficient heating solution for your whole home, shop for a fireplace with Home Fires. We offer a variety of fireplace types, including modern electrical heating, traditional wood fireplaces, and gas heating options.

The traditional wood heaters are perfect if you’re looking to be environmentally conscious and like to go old-school with burning your firewood. We’ve also got a large range available, whether you want a freestanding option or installed into your wall.

If convenience is more your style, modern electrical or gas-heating fireplaces are also a great option for heating your home. Contact the Home Fires team today to discuss which type of fireplace would suit your home best.

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