How to choose a fireplace?

fireplace and woodburners - practical tipsIn some regions of the country, wood is the only readily available source of heat, but it is worth to consider allocating the fireplace features from becoming a primary source of heating. However in that case, you must carefully look at its technical parameters and functional, and most of all:

• efficiency – commercially available devices have a minimum efficiency of 70% during normal operation, which means that not less than 70% of the energy is resulting from the burning of wood goes into the room in the form of heat (in the traditional open fireplaces it is usually – 10-15%);
• Nominal power – a very important advantage of cartridges for the fireplace is the ability to use them for heating, using the hot air distribution system. In order to select the suitable means for this contribution, we can assume that 1 kW unit heats approximately 25 m3 (this value is closely dependent on the rate of heat transfer through the building walls). It should take into account the nominal power of the unit, which is averaged over time, and not the maximum, which is reached only for a short time and does not reflect the true potential of the heating equipment;
• Fire safety – in the wooden houses there are more important requirements;
• comfort of use – this decides on the overall replenishment of fuel and ash handling, as well as the ability to adjust performance.

When choosing the cartridge or a fireplace, do not only consider the price. You should also take into consideration future operating costs, resulting from the technical parameters of the equipment, the comfort and safety, and lastly, the technical solutions guaranteeing durability and warranty.

Winter is coming

winter is comingIt probably won’t be as bad as the one that comes to Westeros (we can be sure it won’t bring the White Walkers :)), but nevertheless, winters in this climate can be harsh and can attack without any warning.

More remote locations, outside of urban areas, are especially vulnerable when the unexpectedly low temperatures and huge snowfall comes – broken power lines, icy roads, overall poor conditions that make life harder are prevalent during this season and every person who suffered through winter at least once knows that having a secondary heating solution in the household is the way to go.

Aforementioned power outages render most modern heating installations useless, as most of them need electricity to function. Furthermore, contemporary heaters also need fuel which is not readily available on hand – petrol, coal and other fuels are not easy to store unless you have a huge basement and amenities to ensure safety storage. Wood, on the other hand, can be found (and bought) anywhere and if you have a good, energy-efficient fireplace in your house, can help you get through the unexpected harsh conditions without worrying about cold.

Thus, having an efficient woodburner in your house is a must – always remember that modern fireplaces are not only for decoration. Sitting by a crackling fire is a very pleasant feeling, but it is also a sure way to prevent any problems arising from misfortunes caused by winter.

Check our woodburners here!

Where should you store your firewood?

fireplece - wood Designing the space around your fireplace is not an easy task. If you thought that choosing a proper woodburner was hard, you will understand that it’s only half of the job done. You should consider where to store the wood for your fireplace. Although possibilities seem endless, a well-placed firewood storage can be a great decoration.

Placing the wood in the fireplace niche is the most common solution. Putting it in interesting stacks can also be very effective. Neatly cut wood looks great and is not only functional, but can also serve a decorative purpose. Space arrangement around the fireplace depends on woodburner’s location. If it is near the corner of a room, but not in it, we can use the niche for wood storage. The fact that wood close to the fireplace dries faster is an additional advantage. Freshly cut wood is moist in 70%, while firewood should only contain 15% water.

Consequently, put your wood near the fireplace!

Wood burning stoves – the look, the style, the atmosphere

a free stainding woodburnerA stove most often reminds you of a little wood burner heating up your grandparents’ house. Usually, they looked plain and were not very user-friendly. What’s more, they had a little heating power and short burning time. But nowadays, stoves are elegant and economical heat sources. Fire burning bright inside makes the room warmer and more comfy. A stove in your living room changes it into a place from a fairy tale.

All wood burners are equipped with large glass doors through which you can see the wood burning. The glass can be flat or panoramic, smooth or carved.

Stove manufacturers offer a wide range of devices – modern wood burners with large fuel compartments or more traditional ones, with stove lids and ovens. The latter not only create a pleasant, warm atmosphere, but also allow you to bake a cake or prepare dinner. Such solution will prove useful in a summer house and in a rustic kitchen.

Fireside fireplace insert

fireplace insert prisma WFireplace insert is a heart of every fireplace. It’s the most crucial part of every woodburner and as such, has to be chosen with care and thought.

First of all, you must thoroughly think what kind of fireplace you’ll be building in your house, as not every design will fit the interior of your living room. When you finally choose the general looks of your desired fireplace, you should modify it accordingly, i.e. build it around the fireplace insert, as it will determine the whole design and installation process.

Nowadays, most fireplace inserts are accommodated to work with many types of fireplaces and can be custom-made to suit some more sophisticated, non-standard needs. But in majority of cases, fireplace insert can be used in old fireplaces (those not connected with the house heating system, i.e. without water jacket) and new, multi-purpose types (with water jacket and other technologically advanced devices which turn the fireplace into the secondary heating system). Many fireplace inserts are equipped with thermostats which improve fuel usage. Although “expensive” doesn’t always mean “the best”, usually more technologically advanced fireplace inserts have better efficiency and are cheaper to use, so your investment will quickly pay off.

Oh, about fuel – insert’s construction varies, depending on fuel used in the fireplace (with most common materials being wood, briquette, coal and natural gas), but many models are accommodated to burn several types of fuel. Nevertheless, better be safe than sorry and always ask about this issue before you choose the insert.

 

Find our fireplace inserts here – Fireplace Inserts

Simple tricks with a great effect: Renew your house

firelace in living roomGet rid of the dust, add a touch of colour, rearrange the furniture and put flowers in a vase. A house can be changed quickly and easily, without spending a penny or investing in special accessories that emphasize the atmosphere.

Arrange

It isn’t a coincidence that ‘spring cleaning’ is associated with the spring season itself. After long, and cold winter months, finally the time of scrubbing, cleaning and washing has arrived, and thanks to this you can really transform your house. Therefore at times like these, you should just get on with it, and wash windows, hoover your carpets, clean the oven or the remaining furniture. A clean house will immediately provide you satisfaction, not to mention that it will bring a positive atmosphere back! Everyone loves and appreciates a freshly cleaned house!

Organise

After getting rid of the dirt and doing the general cleaning, we should introduce a little order into the cabinets, shelves and drawers. Revisit the winter wardrobe and make room for spring clothes instead! Bring peace and tranquillity into your wardrobe! You will certainly discover some new hidden accessories, and with that clear up, make room for some new clothes.

Relocate the furniture

This is one of the easiest ways to transform a house without spending any money. You can change the arrangement of furniture within the room, or think about moving them to another location. However, before you change anything, imagine the new room in your head, taking into account practical issues such as easy access to outlets and sockets. If the new arrangement proves to be unsuccessful, don not panic, as it’s always possible to return to the original layout.

firelace in living roomAdd some colour

Strong colours are a great way to liven up the house in the spring. If the strong colour components are already painted on the walls, increase their numbers, by adding more shades. If the interiors are neutral, then you have a guaranteed freedom of choice. Spring usually associates with elements of nature, in the colours of yellow, blue, green.

Change the fabrics

Curtains, pillow cases and bed covers also need to be refreshed during spring. Replace heavy, thick curtains for blinds out of cotton or chiffon, a light blanket for a thin quilt, soft acrylic coating pillowcases should be made out of linen or fine fabric with a hint of a pattern. Thanks to all these, the house will become lighter and will gain a positive atmosphere.

Show off your plants

A house that is filled with plants immediately brings to mind the spring or summer. Renew the pots of the plants and add new plants themselves, thus creating original, green compositions. A lovely way for a change inside the house are also bouquets, when placed on top of a table or a shelf, they can add a lot more colour to the interior.

Stoves and woodburners in the living room – basic information

woodburner in living room

photo by Maggie Smith

It is unlikely that a stove on its own, is going to provide enough sufficient heating for the entire house. But it can surely warm up the specific interior, and it can be a wonderful decorative element.

Freestanding stove – firebox

A free standing stove (commonly referred to as a firebox) is a closed fire pit, made of materials that are resistant to high temperatures. The custom-made casing is an important advantage, because the installation of a firebox is less expensive rather than installing the cartridge in a stove box, and undoubtedly, the effectiveness of such casing is a lot better.

A modern and classic wood burning stove

An appearance of a stove is as important as its design. These days, a firebox will add a significant charm to any interior. Some have a special place for the storage of wooden blocks, at times a plane of tiles, which can be heated at any time.

Fireboxes are made of iron or steel. But bear in mind that the choice of the construction material determines the style of the stove. The cast iron allows a subtle, delicate shapes to be created, providing the stoves an elegant and stylish look. Steel stoves however, have a simple and modern design. They are also a lot smaller than the ones made from cast iron, and thus have weaker heating characteristics.

Heating with the help of a stove

Freestanding stoves are used primarily for heating, and in this respect are a very convenient and cheap source of heat. Such stoves can be installed in any interior, as long as the chimney matches the appropriate dimensions.

Woodburners – The most common problems

A well-functioning fireplace in the average house is a big wish for many people. Unfortunately, not everyone can fulfil this wish… However, there is thankfully an alternative – a stove, commonly referred to as a firebox.

artur84

photo by artur84

In order to enjoy the comfort of having a free home fire, you have to remember the basic principles of the implementation and use of a standard stove. We advise you how to avoid problems.

Each device found at home, requires professional installation, a proper fitting and careful setting. Especially if it is associated with fire, then it is necessary to be safe and accurate about everything. Unfortunately, problems can always occur. Therefore you need to know what are the potential problems for every stove, and why, in some cases, they are vulnerable. We will advise you how to prevent them.

Here are the most common problems:

Incorrectly designed chimney system

This construction defect may cause rapid cooling of smoke and reduction of the string. This often occurs when the chimney is installed on the outer wall of the house, perhaps the connection to the chimney is too long or the chimney has more than two bends. In addition, if the stove is on the lowest level, the probability of smoke escaping from the stove is likely, and at times this is difficult to avoid.

hajduk woodburner

hajduk woodburner

High pressure in the building

Modern houses are usually sealed, this means – extremely sensitive to ineffective ventilation. Often, due to the strong negative pressure in the building, the standard sequence can be reversed. The smoke from the stove can begin to recede into the room, which usually occurs during lighting of the stove or with the stove operating at reduced power. Then it would be necessary to supply air from the outside, for combustion purposes.

Incorrect usage

Prolonged operation of the stove, with a significantly reduced power, leads to an extreme temperature drop in the chimney, and this significantly reduces the drag force. If you then open the doors of the stove, the smoke may start to occur in the room. Such problems can be avoided if the stove is operated in accordance with the instructions, this means, skilfully igniting it and heating it to the correct temperatures.

A Free standing stove – how to safely set it up?

free standing wood burning stoveThe free-standing stove can be a great decoration for your interior. You must remember, however, that for safety reasons, each stove should be secured, despite of the fire resistant surface.

A free standing stove – the flooring

The surface reaching at least 60cm away from the heart of the fire, should be made out of non-flammable and fire resistant materials. If the surface is in fact made out of wood, or is covered with a carpet, the easiest way make it still safe is to cover the little bit of area with either a metal or glass surface. In place of the installed stove, a small enclosed platform may also be built, either out of clinker brick, natural stone, ceramics or terracotta. Such platform will provide a comfortable and more importantly, safe use of the stove – Likewise, there will be no need to bend low in order to add wood.

The stove surroundings

We also need to pay attention that furniture, electronics, or other flammable objects (e.g. curtains) should not be too close to the stove. This is very important because the casing of the stove usually heats up to high temperatures. The minimum distance of nearby objects should be 80 cm, but it normally depends on the type of objects. For example any soft materials are recommended to be kept at a fairly safe distance.

The free standing stoves shouldn’t be facing the wall directly either, as this might result in a scorched wall. More information on the required distance can be found in the manual provided with the stove. For additional safety, in order to stop the sparks from coming out of the freshly burning stove – you could use special protective screens, made from either glass or metal. Also bear in mind that no stove should be installed in any passageways, e.g. middle of the hallway. This could risk in dangerous accidents happening, especially if you have young children that like to run around the house

Choosing between fireplace and a woodburner

16-insert-based-fireplace-volcanp-1v-h-51-luxusWhen choosing between a fireplace and a woodburner, there is a number of things to take into account. Although both have advantages and disadvantages, woodburning stoves are becoming more fashionable these days.

First of all, a traditional  fireplace create a cosy atmosphere, unmatched by a woodburner. Thanks to is open fire, you can get the impression of being close to natural source of warmth rather than a stove. At the same time, the damper used in woodburners stop heat getting out of your house since hot air rises and it escapes through the chimney. For the same reason, the heat coming from a woodburner is more efficient and its distribution is even. Apart from that practical consideration, a fireplace might be more aesthetic, built-in feature of your living-room. Its mantle comes naturally as space for keeping photos or some decoration.  The aesthetic qualities of a fireplace make it a well-thought fixed property of your place, but it limits the possibilities of its installation. It is not the case when it comes to a woodburner, because it can be put anywhere within the range of a pipe. Unfortunately, that tends to make it look out of place, especially in summer.

The solution combing all the advantages is installing a woodstove in the already existing fireplace using its chimney as an exhaust. Also, the growing range of woodburners available in the market makes it possible to choose a design comparable to a fireplace in terms of aesthetic values.