Choosing The Right Fireplace To Match Your Lifestyle and Decor

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The chimney manufacturers are numerous and offer a wide range of complete fireplace models, so ask yourself the right questions to choose your fireplace.

What use for my fireplace

While remodeling your home, it’s often a great idea to add a fireplace as it helps to create a cozy atmosphere in your home when it’s cold outside. Heating all or part of the house (keeping in mind that a chimney does not allow the home frost free and therefore cannot replace a real heating), or occasional fire? Small fireplaces (logs up to 33 cm) with a single glazed face have greater autonomy than more decorative models, characterized by large fireplaces or several glazed surfaces. They are more suited to heating than recreational use. The materials used also come into play. A steel hearth heats up faster than a cast iron model but radiates less fire extinguished.

Is the diameter of the duct compatible?

Most chimneys are connected in diameters of 200 mm or 250 mm. Some chimneys with large fireplaces may require larger diameters (280 mm for some models at Bordelet, for example). Better to anticipate it!

The power of the fireplace depends on the size and insulation of the house. This power must be weaker as the house is more isolated. Beware of overheating otherwise! If you have insulated your home or plan to do so, you do not need high power: 5 to 8 kW are sufficient where more than 10 kW are needed in poorly insulated housing.

It should be well determine the needs to properly size the unit. In addition to the nominal power, also pay special attention to the minimum and maximum operating power.

What about waterproof chimneys?

Traditionally, the chimney takes the air needed for combustion in the room where it is installed. Air arrivals are expected in this room. Low energy houses (BBC) rely on excellent thermal insulation and an airtight envelope. It is no longer possible to install external air intakes. Rather than taking the air of combustion into the room, the chimney 
makes it directly outside. The air inlet is connected to a flexible duct whose section, which depends in particular on the power, is variable according to the manufacturers. The fireplace thus works perfectly tight.

Two advantages: 

  1. it is no longer necessary to provide air intakes that cool the house and compromise the overall performance of the installation.
  2.  the sealed operation ensures a better control of the combustion, thanks in particular to a fine regulation of the arrival of air according to the temperature of the hearth.

What improvement for my fireplace?

If you already have a chimney, keep the cladding and insert an insert into the existing hearth. It is an economical solution that does not involve major work. Only downside: the size of the insert, and therefore the glazed area by which to see the spectacle of the flames, is limited to the dimensions of the existing hearth. You can also remodel the fireplace with a closed fireplace. Large fireplace, marble cladding, steel or ceramic ... all configurations are possible. 
In both cases, the existing flue must be carefully examined. It must be cased, that is to say doubled by an insulated metal conduit, if it is in poor condition. You can also employ the services of a fireplace remodeling contractor to assist you with the process.

And if the flue does not exist?

If you do not have a flue, the easiest way is to install a stove. Halfway between the two families of products, these devices combine show of flame and optimal performance. Their installation, faster than traditional fireplaces, requires no masonry work. The ideal is to place the appliance in the center of the house, close to the staircase to ensure heat diffusion to the floor and also for a good home remodeling design.


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