Best fireplace for your family

As the colder weather creeps in, home heating starts becoming a real issue for many reasons. Not only do you need to keep warm but heating can be expensive if you don’t choose the right type.

A fireplace not only warms but can become a focal point in your home just like a camp fire does outside.

Fireplaces are now increasingly being designed into outdoor living areas. They’re a stylish way to make outdoor entertaining cosy and inviting, allow outdoor spaces to¬† be enjoyed all year.

Fireplaces have a reputation of being environmentally unfriendly because of their inefficiencies and emissions, which can also have adverse health effects. However, good design, as well as choice and handling of fuel, can improve both the efficiency of the fire and the release of emissions.

 

Issues to consider when adding a fireplace in your home

 

Emissions – Burning wood compared to burning ethanol or gas requires different appliances due to the emissions they produce. These emissions can cause health and other problems, not only for you, but also your neighbours. Emissions need to be considered and planned for. Wood causes the most potent emissions, gas less than wood, and ethanol the least.

Ventilation – When you’re using wood, gas or coal as a fuel source, the emissions need to be vented via a chimney or flue. Ethanol is a very clean burning fuel and does not require flue or chimney. However you do need to be aware of the ventilation issues with ethanol fuelled fire places.

Contrary to popular believe ethanol fires can produce a substantial amount of heat and can also be portable.

Building codes govern the building of fireplaces and chimneys, so consult your local council before you start, as regulations vary.

Energy costs – The cost, availability and storage of the different fuels for your fireplace will also need to be considered when choosing a fireplace. Wood is available from many sources, some free. However wood is bulky and requires plenty of storage space. Gas is also easy to buy and store, but check if you have access to gas mains or bottled gas. If you are on mains your gas will be relatively cheap, but if you only have access to bottled gas your heating costs can be as expensive as electricity. Ethanol is becoming easier and cheaper to fid and buy because renewable energy sources are becoming popular.