By Fanny Ungar. Fireplace. Published at Thursday, September 20th, 2018 - 01:01:50 AM.
There is much written about the benefits of an electric fireplace and much is also written about the common differences between electric fireplaces and traditional fireplaces. Of course, both have their value but for many people there are a number of reasons why people purchase an electric fireplace as opposed to purchasing a "real" fireplace. Cost and installation often play a role in the decision to purchase an electric fireplace as opposed to purchasing a traditional fireplace. Of course, this does bring up an overlooked question: what happens to those who have already purchased a traditional fireplace. Do they completely shut down the traditional fireplace and opt to not think about purchasing an electric item? Absolutely not! Instead they can simply install an electric fireplace insert into the traditional fireplace and they will be in business once again!
Selecting an appropriate stone fireplace means picking a design that is right for your home, for instance there is little point in installing a magnificent and huge fireplace which then dwarfs the room, leaving virtually no actual living space. Do also bear in mind also that once installed the stone is not easily changed so it is important to select a stone material that you don’t easily tire of. This said you certainly can’t beat the permanence and illustrious looks of a stone fireplace which can appear as simply a box in your living room with a hanging mantel or with a mantel that has legs fastened on the wall. For large rooms with tall ceilings, a stone mantel can stretch up to the full height of the ceiling and display paintings or even a old tapestries.
The benefit to a ventless gas log fireplace outdoors is convenience and cost. The process of building proper ventilation and a chimney can often double the expense of custom fireplaces indoors or outside. Convenience is the ability to create a perfect flame pattern as easily as turning on a barbeque grill. Many gas log fireplaces have complex valve options that allow variable remote controls that alter flame height, on/off remotes, wall switches and thermostatic controllers that turn the fireplace on and off based on the temperature read at the thermostat. I do not recommend any of these valves in your backyard. A manual safety pilot kit has a standing pilot light that stays on always. As long as the pilot is burning, the fireplace can be controlled with a simple control knob. A couple of decorative ceramic pinecones or wood chunks hide the controls. Remotes, wall switches, thermostatic controls and other valves use batteries. Even a gas log fireplace that is under an overhang will be affected by moisture in the air. Here in Florida where humidity is tremendous, a battery operated valve will corrode within a year in most backyards.
This said however, in any wood burning fireplace it is vital to use the right kind of wood that is cut to a convenient size. Hardwoods such as oak or fruitwood are the best option as they give off the most heat. Softwoods such as birch give off a good heat but tend to be consumed pretty quickly, while pine contains a lot of spark forming resin that can spit all over your floor or rug. Ideally, logs should measure between 9 and 14 inches long although it doesn’t hurt to use a couple of larger logs on your fire to give it a bit of character. Only ever use seasoned wood in your fireplace. If you try to burn green wood the heat produced by combustion must dry the wood before it will burn and you risk a buildup of creosote in your chimney which creates an imminent fire hazard. In addition by using well seasoned wood you will you get a much hotter fire; thus creating more heat for your home. It is worth bearing in mind that all wood for burning should be seasoned for a minimum of six months and stored under cover, so it is best to buy and stack firewood well in advance of the coldest months.
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