Selecting a wood-burning fireplace can be a challenging decision. With so many brands of the market, different designs and styles, it’s tough to make up your mind. However, if you are a new homeowner and want the fireplace to be the centerpiece of your living room, then here are a couple of tips you might find useful.
Calculate the heat potential
Energy performance and heath potential mostly depend on your space and how well it’s insulated. Additionally, do you want to use a fireplace as the primary source of heat, or for occasional heat? For that reason, it’s essential to choose a unit that offers you a wide range of uses.
With next-generation fireplaces, you can regulate the heat according to your needs. Additionally, you should think about combustion, since it releases different kinds of gases, such as CO and CO2, which can have a negative effect on your health.
On the other hand, with complete combustion, you can minimize the emission. In that case, the fire should be at the high end of your burner’s usage range.
First of all, when you are choosing where to place your fireplace, you should think about the smoke outlet. An ideal solution would be to use a long, vertical, thermally insulated pipe, which is integrated into the building. This way, you won’t loose on heath because the cold air won’t affect the tube.
However, if you have an outdoor smoke outlet, then it needs to be adequately insulated.
Another important factor to consider is the distribution of heat. For example, the fireplace distributes the heated air locally. Therefore, the place where you want to install your unit may play a significant role in whether your home feels warm or not.
Fresh air as a crucial ingredient
Obviously, you require fresh air to burn wood. Based on some estimates, approximately 8m3 per 1 kg of logs. You can collect the air using two methods:
From the outside – in this case, you can install a direct air inlet system. If the fire is sealed, then nothing will interfere with the air inside the house. The air can go through walls or floors, so you should think about this before starting this project.
From inside – make sure there is enough air left for the needs of people occupying the home. On the other hand, if you decide to install a ventilation system, then it may diminish the performance of the fireplace.
Do you need an ash pan?
Having a fireplace with an ash pan is definitely practical, but it can lower the combustion temperature. It’s up to you to decide whether you want convenience over heat or the other way around. The reduction in heat won’t be that significant, so you can choose a fireplace with an ash pan.
It will save you a lot of time cleaning. However, if you still decide that you don’t need an ash tray, there are a lot of models on the market that don’t produce much ash. But, this mostly depends on type of wood you use.