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Heat loss and bigger bills caused by chimneys sucking the heat out of buildings can be reduced by a shield placed over open fireplaces when not in use.
Seven million UK properties have fireplaces which act like vacuum cleaners‚ sucking warm air up the chimney and out of heated rooms, leaving cold air behind which must be reheated.

Fledgling firm, Environmental Fireplace Solutions' answer is its Fireplace Heatsaver which aims to cut carbon footprint by half a ton a year.

George Baker, managing director of Environmental Fireplace Solutions came up with the idea of an attractive, lightweight, transparent shield which is easy to place over open fireplaces or fitted gas fire appliances and remove when they are in use.

Set up in January 2007, the firm currently employs three people and has received advice from West Yorkshire Ventures, which supports new business ideas in West Yorkshire.

Production of the Fireplace Heatsaver is in full swing and an application has been made for a UK patent, along with product recognition status from the Energy Saving Trust.

The company is also in discussions with Warm Front, a body funded by DEFRA which provides households with grants for heating and insulation.

The firm's sales target over the next 12 months is 5,000 units.

Daniel Shute, a director at the firm said: 'As winter approaches, we are confident that the Fireplace Heatsaver, which really does make homes warmer, is a winner on both the environmental and fiscal front'.


4 January 2008

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