How Hot does a Fireplace Get?

We all know that any fire can get very, very hot but how hot does a fireplace get?

It’s an important question for many homeowners and below we’ll talk about how hot a fire is when in a fireplace, how much of that heat is valuable, and how you can make your fires more efficient.

With rising energy prices paired with more home heating choices than ever before, it’s worthwhile understanding what exactly an open fireplace will bring to your home.

How Hot does a Fireplace Get?

The short answer is the fire in your fireplace is probably around 2012F on average.

Pretty hot we think you’ll agree!

Now let’s look at the specifics of how hot fire can get, how fireplaces lose heat, open versus enclosed fireplaces, and importantly how to make your fireplace hotter and increase efficiency and performance for as cozy a home as possible.

How Hot is Fire?

As we’ve said, a fire in your fireplace is probably around 2012F on average but, how hot is fire in general? It seems like an obvious question, but how many know the answer?

The truth is that not all fires are the same temperature. Have you ever noticed how most fires have different colored flames? They might look nice but each of these flames has a different temperature.

Average flame temperatures:

  • Deep red flames are 1112F
  • Orangey Yellow flames are 2012F
  • White flames are between 2400-2600F
  • Blue flames (the hottest) are between 2600-3000F

As already stated, please note that these are only averages, and you may find some flames are hotter or cooler than we have just described.

How Fireplaces Lose Heat

Now, even if your fireplace is 2012F on average, that does not mean your home will be positively melted! A lot of that heat is lost.

The first way that fireplaces lose their heat is via the chimney. As you’ll probably know, hot air rises and escapes when given the chance. When you have an open chimney, the hot air will rise through the chimney and out of the house. This is vital as it brings with it smoke and nasty gasses.

Next, you’ll probably know that most fireplaces are built into a wall. A certain percentage of heat is also lost to the surrounding walls. Depending on where your fireplace is, it will either go outside, into the room next to the fireplace or into your neighbor’s house if you share a retaining wall.

Finally, if you have an open fire, which does not have a glass door, heat is lost as it disperses throughout the room.

This might sound depressing, but this is the nature and design of an open fireplace and despite some obvious flaws, fireplaces still generate enormous amounts of heat when used correctly.

Open Fire vs Enclosed Fire (with an insert)

One solution to stopping heat from escaping outside is to use a fireplace insert. This metallic or black backing reflects heat away from the wall and back into the room you’re in.

Let’s compare a fireplace with an insert and a door to a fireplace with neither.

The fireplace with both has a heat output (or efficiency) of 65%, whereas the fireplace with neither has a heat output of 10%. If you don’t know, “heat output” refers to how much heat from the fire actually emits into the room.

The backing and the door might cost more upfront, but you will save more in the long-term. This is because you will require less wood to keep the fire going.

If you see an open fireplace with no glass and no insert, we can guarantee performance will dip however if the fireplace is only used occasionally or primarily a decorative fireplace then this won’t be an issue.

How to Make a Fireplace Hotter

With all of the above in mind, it’s also possible to improve performance and generate more heat from your fireplace. Below are some of the most common tactics which you can apply at home:

Get a chimney fan. You’ve probably seen these on chimneys before without even thinking about it. They’re metallic structures that go on top of your chimney. They pull the smoke out of your home whilst preventing too much heat from escaping, essentially supercharging the draft process.

Use dry firewood. If you use wet wood, the fire will have to use more energy to evaporate the water, rather than burn the wood. If there is any green moss-like bacteria on your wood, you’ll have to leave it to dry before it’s okay to burn.

Keep the chimney clean. If your chimney is filled with creosote, the heat energy that would be used to burn wood will instead be used to heat up with creosote. This makes your fire incredibly inefficient.

A chimney damper should be open when the fire is on so that the smoke can escape via the chimney. But it should be off when you’re not using the fireplace. This stops warm air from getting out of the house via an unnecessary draft.

Many people also like to put their fire in a fire basket. This metal basket keeps everything more compact and makes your fire burn more efficiently. It also stops logs from rolling away, spreading the fire and making it cooler.

As we mentioned earlier, you should also use an insert so that heat is reflected back into the room. And use a glass door (if possible) so heat isn’t dispersed too quickly.

Finally, use some leftover ash (from previous fires) as insulation. A layer of ash on the bottom of your fireplace prevents heat from escaping below the fireplace.

Hopefully this has answered the question of how hot does a fireplace get.

Open fireplaces can add so much to a home. From cozy nights by the fire to decorative centrepieces in a living area. We hope this helps you understand more about your fireplace and for everything else home heating, stick with