Seal Your Fireplace/Chimney to Prevent Energy Loss & Save Money


The cozy, wood-burning fireplace in your home could be melting away your family’s budget. It’s estimated that American households lose up to 6 billion dollars a year in wasted energy due to a poorly-sealed chimney.

Wood-burning fireplace

Why Does Heat Loss Occur?

While the perfect winter scene is set, the fire draws in the oxygen it needs for combustion, pulling the warm air toward the fireplace. The waste gases are pulled up and through the chimney, drawing additional air toward the space. Once the gases rise in the chimney, they drag 90% of the warm air generated by the fire. Just 10% of the energy makes it into the home.

As air escapes, the “stack effect” occurs when the home pulls in more outside air from windows, doors and light sockets to replace the lost air. Unfortunately, this effect can also occur when your fireplace is unlit.

Types of Energy-Saving Accessories to Seal Your Chimney or Fireplace

There are a variety of products and strategies to resolve the wasted energy issue and cut excess costs.

  • Flue Sealers are removable stoppers made from hard-gauge plastic that prevent air from escaping through the chimney. They are installed below the damper to prevent heat loss and drafts when the fireplace is not in use. This option is inexpensive, easy to install and easy to remove.
  • Fireplace doors and covers can also prevent drafts and reduce heat loss. Secure fitting frames are made from fiberglass however, removable options are also available. View available accessories.
  • Heat exchangers force heat back in the room using large tubes and fans to circulate warm air. This option improves heating capacity by 10%, however, it requires extensive maintenance to prevent soot buildup and has an expensive and complicated installation process.
  • Inserts can improve fireplace efficiency by 65% or more. They work by sealing off heat loss and radiating heat into the room. Inserts come in single and double-wall unit options, the double-wall option being the most efficient. Homeowners can also opt for air circulating fans to improve efficiency. Doctor Flue offers a variety of products to seal your fireplace, including High Valley, Jotul and Stoll wood inserts.
  • DIY options are also a viable option thanks to websites like Pinterest and tutorials on YouTube. Homeowners can create an insulating foamboard damper seal or a plywood and insulating foamboard damper seal to provide additional insulation.

Annual Inspection & Cleaning

The Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fire Protection Association (Standard 211) recommend that homeowners have chimneys, fireplaces and vents cleaned and inspected by a professional annually.

When You Work with Doctor Flue

Doctor Flue provides both wood burning and gas burning chimney inspections. Wood burning chimney inspections will identify potential structural issues, safety hazards and combustible deposits like creosote and carbon using an internal video scan and reviewing the exterior of the chimney.

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