Who doesn’t love to warm themselves in front of a blazing fireplace on a winter day? It feels great! However, it’s important to manage your fireplace to minimize its impact on your heated space when it’s NOT in use. In addition, you might not realize that your overhead lighting provides a conduit for warm air to escape your home in winter. While solving these challenges is not generally included in a home energy assessment, there are simple ways to improve the energy efficiency of both of these interior features.


If you have an open fireplace, air can leak between your home and the outdoors. A fireplace with no doors or open doors will continuously pull heated air out of your home in winter, even when there’s a fire in the fireplace.

Remedying these leaks is easy: if your fireplace has glass doors, keep them closed except when adding new firewood. If your fireplace has a damper, keep it closed whenever you are not using the fireplace.

Recessed/“Can” lights

Do you have recessed (sometimes called “can” or “down”) lights in any ceilings of your home, including finished attic spaces or lower levels under a pitched roof line? If so, be aware that they often leak warm air and moisture through the ceiling directly through the roof or into the space above. Warm air escaping through recessed light cylinders on the top floor condenses in the attic and encourages mold growth.

You can replace the recessed light bulbs with disk light retrofit kits that fit snugly into the circular space and use the existing light socket. No extra wiring is required. Look for disk light retrofit kits in Mass Save’s® Marketplace or at a home improvement store.

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