How to make your coal fire more energy efficient

There's something about an open fire that captures the imagination in a way that gas and electricity just can't match. As the temperature starts to drop and the nights begin to draw in, the idea of cosy winter nights around the fireplace can be very appealing. But while a coal fire can be aesthetically appealing, it can also require extra attention to get the best results.

The first thing any homeowner should do when it comes to improving the energy efficiency of an open fire is to ensure that they're using the highest quality fuels. Our house coal is specially treated to promote a longer burn time - meaning you don't need to use as much of it to enjoy a warm and active fire all through the evening. We also apply innovative techniques to minimise clunkers and produce a lower amount of ash.

There are also a number of products on the market that can improve the efficiency of your fireplace, minimising heat loss and promoting a warmer, cleaner burn. These include adjustable throat restrictors, which reduce airflow and help to retain heat in the room. The restrictor should be closed when the fire is out, and reopened before relighting the fire.

You can also install glass fire doors to reduce dust and smoke, and block any drafts from the chimney. These are also an excellent option to improve safety if you have children or pets in the home, and can significantly reduce the risk of fireplace 'spitting'. Fire doors are available from a number of manufacturers in a variety of stylish designs suitable for both inset and inglenook style fireplaces.

The materials that surround your fire can also play a significant role. You'd be surprised how effective a couple of blocks of masonry around the fire can be when it comes to improving heat output. Just make sure that the materials are securely placed and not blocking the chimney before you light the fire.

Finally, remember that a well-stocked, well-constructed coal fire is only one aspect of an energy efficient home. Double or triple glazing, cavity wall insulation, and draft exclusion are also important considerations in preventing heat loss and helping your fire to do its job properly - creating a warm, comfortable and attractive centrepiece to your room.

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