Now you are correct if there was no other heat source in the house it wouldn't be a net loss because you would still get the radiant heat but wouldn't be sucking air that had already been heated by another source out of the house. The problem with that argument is that no one is really willing to do that.
Yes I see what you mean. People only did it back when fireplaces were the only source of heat in this house. It would be somewhat warm from radiant heat at the fireplace and cold in the more distant parts of the house.
For me personally, I do not run a fireplace in cold weather while I am cranking out serious heat with some other device.
There are these days in Spring or in Fall, when it is a bit chilly in the morning or in the evening... or maybe an entire dreary day when the actual temperature outside is not much cooler than the internal temperature. Firing up a wood furnace is too much. I could burn a little oil, but these are times that I might like to hang out by the fireplace (and only the fireplace) sort of like a campfire. An open fire in my backyard in summer is a real waste of wood too, but it is fun. These shoulder season times (or in more mild climates) are when I think it might be appreciated.
Thank you for the respect, but a background does not deserve or demand that.
It does not NECESSARILY demand it, and there are certainly many different factors which could earn my respect. But a background in something certainly doesn't make things WORSE!
I just really really like physics, and used to read a lot of it, so I related, that's all. I am always studying a million different things. It was a ton of science when I was young, but then psychology, history, music theory. I am always involved in food and cooking. In more recent times I had been studying a lot of plumbing and electrical.
People on this site have a wide range of interests and backgrounds. I find it to be a very intelligent forum overall.
Politeness between humans does. And that should be sufficient. I hope to have shown that by not calling names, and I acknowledge you did so (too).
Yes, politeness counts for something. I would not attack you for no reason. I only defend myself when necessary.
When I wrote, "I also respect that you are even having the discussion with me" what I meant was that I am happy that we can engage in some debate, and refine our understanding of some of the subtleties of these points.
You were not just spewing nonsense with no basis (as some people do).
the biggest loss is during the (majority of) hours during which the fireplace does not run.
Use an incense stick near or in a fireplace with the damper closed and see where the smoke goes. That goes on 24/7. That is air from your home, on which energy was spent to heat it to 68-ish degrees that goes out the chimney.
That is the problem with fireplaces.
My fireplaces are so old they don't even have a damper. They are stuffed with insulation. I am not aware of just how leaky a typical fireplace damper is, but I see what you mean. It is the like leaky doors, windows, etc.
Again, if the aesthetics is worth it to someone, by all means, keep a fireplace. But that doesn't change the facts of the presence of a fireplace being a net energy loss to a home.
See, each of us has made more nuanced and accurate statements... and now there is much more of an agreement.
I see what you mean, and to determine if it is worth having a fireplace at all (sitting unused), we need to know just how much passive heat loss there is. I assumed it was small, but I don't know the numbers. The study quoted (while useful in concept) does not quantify this. There has to be some info on this for doors, windows, chimneys, etc. etc.
It is the same as having a cathedral ceiling.... or a huge window. They are not good from an efficiency standpoint, but maybe they are cool things to have. One can calculate the cost of having it. Now we are getting somewhere.
It's fine with me if you don't agree. I'll stop here as I don't see this going much farther being a fruitful discussion.
Oh, it has been fruitful!!
And for what it's worth, I very much appreciate you trying to keep history alive and functional in your own home. That kind of aspect can certainly change the balance into keeping a fireplace. Too much historical stuff is going down already...
Thanks, Yeah, I wouldn't build a new fireplace. But there are four of them here.
One has no chimney above the roof anymore, so it is toast.
Two have wood stoves in them, an I have tried to select models and sizes that maintain the visual of the original fireplace.
The last fireplace... I am quite torn between keeping it an open fireplace or with a pretty antique stove in it (also inefficient but not quite as bad as an open fire obviously). It is in the dining room... and used only very occasionally for ambiance, and radiant heat while at the table. It is not for any kind of serious heating.