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Tuesday, 20 December 2011


Over the years, the purpose of a fireplace has changed. It used to be that a home would have a fireplace simply for appearance and recreational use like when entertaining guests for a dinner party.

Today, fireplaces still provide these benefits but they are also cost and energy effective.

Many of the designs found today offer something unique. There are see-through designs where two rooms can share the same beautiful fire, and even fireplaces that have glass three- and four-sided views. This type of design can fit into any style room, offering something extra special. Many of the old masonry fireplaces do not heat a home efficiently. They allow the warm indoor air to escape outside, losing from 80% to 100% of their heat as well as 10% of the indoor air. That certainly does not do much for keeping a house warm.

Many fireplaces today are factory built and designed specifically to produce more heat than a traditional masonry fireplace. This type fireplace is also called low clearance and can be located as close as  one-half inch from the wall with no danger of fire. These fireplaces are extremely lightweight and reasonably priced.

If you want to increase the efficiency of your masonry fireplace, consider a slanted back, which allows the heat to radiate into the room better, an insulated fireplace, a fan-driven heat exchanger to enable the fire to warm the air as well as radiate it. Glass doors are also heat efficient. Many are designed to hold in heat after the fire is extinguished, keeping the room nice and toasty. The flexibility of a fireplace insert is one of the greatest benefits.

If design is a concern, you will be pleased to know that the stones for the direct vents and fireplace inserts vary in color and material. One of the most popular design choices is the bay front, which provides a warm and inviting appeal, perfect for a romantic evening with that special person, or for family enjoyment. Another popular choice is the brick lining that gives an appearance of a masonry fireplace. Most people look for ways to cut back on costs, especially heating costs which has increased manifold in the past couple of years. With direct vents and fireplace inserts, the problem is solved.

Anyone who has been at a campfire or a bonfire understands that having a fire outdoors under the open air is truly an exhilarating experience. While most people think of fireplaces as a small square area that is located in a living room, there are many different types of fireplaces. Some of these fireplaces are designed to be used outdoors and can provide the special ambiance that people experience when they are huddled around a campfire.

Outdoor fireplaces come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are similar to the type of fireplace that you might find in a house, except the have no wall around them. These types of outdoor fireplaces just appear like an open chimney. Other fireplaces are actually attached to the wall of a house and are located on a patio or deck area. This can be a good idea, since this is an area where people tend to congregate. 

Another type of outdoor fireplace of often found in the center of a yard or on the edge of a stone patio area. This type of fireplace is round and is accessible from all sides. The fire burns in the middle. This type of outdoor fireplace is good because it can warm people from all sides and can support more people.

Outdoor fireplaces can also serve a great accent piece for a patio, deck, or garden area. They are also often accompanied by garden furniture and places for people to site or gather. These fireplaces can be the perfect touch for an outdoor meal, especially if it is a little bit too cold to eat outside normally.

Round fireplaces are also a great social place and are perfect for people sitting around talking or playing the guitar.

Another benefit that outdoor fireplaces offer is the benefit of heat. This may seem obvious, but consider that many people do not like to go outside for long period of time if they think that they will be cold. An outdoor fireplace actually extends the useful life of an outdoor area in colder climates since people can still gather outside even after summer is over.

Even in warmer climates, an outdoor fireplace can provide a person with the ability to throw a party outdoors when they normally would have it indoors.

Fireplaces are available in wood, marble and stone. Wood can be crafted aesthetically to complement the interiors, whilst stone and marble provide the much required safety feature in a heat emitting log fireplace. Wood and stone combination offer natural beauty and add dimension to a space and are much safer.

Outdoor fireplaces require special considerations, since they’re exposed to the changing weather. Consider lightweight concrete or painted/plain ceramic tiles; combining with natural stone surrounds and mantle piece. Composition of white cement, natural sands and mineral pigment provides every desired colour and surface texture, while maintaining durable physical properties.

Fireplaces can be purely decorative when not in use. Inside it you keep brass bucket holding dry flowers, large porcelain vases or other decorative pieces covering where coal and wood recess. Outside you keep potted plants on either side which look spectacular.

Clearly, a fireplace can be an excellent feature to add to indoor or outdoor area of your house, which will not only provide you the warmth but also add on to your house d├ęcor too.