What Exactly is a Fireplace Insert and What Type Should You Get?

What Exactly is a Fireplace Insert and What Type Should You Get?

Traditional fireplaces usually burn fuel, have a chimney flue system and are open hearth. By contrast, the newer insert fireplaces are small units that fit into an existing fireplace space.

Fireplace inserts can be gas, electric, propane, wood, pellet or coal burning, and are most often made from cast iron or steel. Fireplace inserts are more like a stove in that they enclose the flames in a metal box and create a closed combustion system.


Who Knew Heating With Wood was So Good for the Environment?

Who Knew Heating With Wood was So Good for the Environment?

There’s nothing like having a flickering fire to bring comfort and warmth to your home. Guests love a drink, meal and good conversation by an open fire. It’s also brilliant in winter, turning a chilly room into a well-loved place for relaxing and perhaps reading a book. However, many have put out their fires through a misguided sense of protecting the environment.


Using Your Mantel for Storage and Interior Decorating

A mantel above a fireplace can serve as valuable storage space and still be a dramatic and effective design feature, according to The Sustainable Modern Home.

Mantels can be decorated in any way that the homeowner chooses, but some people choose to decorate their mantel in accordance with the season, an occasion for celebration or design theme of the room.


Why Property Buyers Love Contemporary Fireplaces

There is something magical about fireplaces and this makes them perennially appealing to property buyers, according to the Daily Herald.

Today, contemporary linear fireplaces are especially popular. They’re especially popular with people aged 40 years and younger. However, this style of fireplace also potentially holds great appeal for older people who desire something stylish and current.


How Hardwood Helps Your Wood-Burning Furnace

When the weather cools, it is time to turn attention to firewood. By understanding and choosing the most appropriate type of firewood, those who use wood heat, especially with a wood-burning furnace, have the opportunity to save money.

The more dense and heavy the wood is, the more heat that will be produced, according to Mother Earth News. Hardwoods, including oak, birch, hickory, maple and beech, burn for longer and hotter than wood from conifers. The coaling properties of these hardwoods are also excellent – they typically produce more coal when burnt than other woods and there is a further advantage in their embers remaining hot through the night.


The Best Fireplace Accessories

Fireplace accessories are always popular retail items whenever autumn or winter rolls around. These accessories range from decorative to functional and some pieces are a combination of both.

According to WiseGeek, fireplace screens are one of the most often purchased accessories. These are positioned in front of a fireplace to prevent large embers from escaping from the fire and on to the hearth or floor. Fireplace screens are most often tri-fold stands which can be elaborate in design, quite plain or enhanced through the use of materials such as stained glass.


Great Reasons to Build an Upside Down Fire

An upside down fire offers a reduced amount of smoke, a cleaner burn, improved combustion, more heat, less need for tending and better use of the energy embodied in wood, according to

An upside down fire is so effective because heat energy is equally radiated in every direction from the point of combustion, rather than only upwards. Heat energy radiates down just as much as it radiates up when the first layer of your firewood combusts.


How to Decorate Your Outdoor Fireplace

An outdoor fireplace on your porch or patio is the perfect place for gathering with family and friends in chillier months, and it can look every bit as stylish and inviting as an indoor fireplace.

There are many ways to decorate the mantel and hearth of a fireplace, without altering its structure, to make it all the more appealing.


What You Need to Know About Chimney Liners

Even when a chimney is used only for venting gas or oil-fired furnaces and boilers, maintenance is vitally important. Chimneys should only be used in particular ways.

The by-products created from the burning of gas and oil are every bit as toxic as the by-products from the burning of solid fuels. The flues within chimneys need to be clean so that heat and gases can travel safely up and beyond the chimney top. It is also worth realising that the by-products of combustion can cause deterioration to the inner surface of the flue over time.


The History of Fireplaces and Fire

In the winter, sitting in front of the fireplace can be wonderful. Not Yet Published tells of how fire has an incredible history and is used to represent emotions as strong and varied as love, hate, passion and vengeance.

Fire was critical to life for thousands of years, providing light, heat, the fuel needed to cook meals and valuable protection. Were it not for fire, the migration and settlement of humans would have been all but impossible and our creativity and progress would certainly have been thwarted.


Decorating Your Mantel With Flowers

Flowers are an excellent decoration for around the fireplace as the weather gets colder. More time will be spent beside the fire in the winter months and it is important to make this area feel cosy. Flowers offer the perfect natural remedy, according to the Examiner.

Space is a key constraint to consider and larger flower arrangements are not suitable to place on a mantel. Many people use circular arrangements to hang above the mantel and this provides a seasonal appeal.


Double and Triple-Sided Fireplaces Offer Countless Benefits

Double-sided and triple-sided fireplaces offer some unique benefits that can make your home into a much more pleasant place to be.

Multi-sided fireplaces can act as dividers between rooms as well as being a wonderful interior design feature that your family and friends can enjoy. In an exterior setting, a fireplace can serve as a window between two spaces while giving off a nice, toasty heat.

Heat & Glo STHVBI Double sided gas fireplace

Heat & Glo STHVBI Double sided gas fireplace

For winter dinner parties, you can ensure that this beautiful feature heats two entertaining areas, rather than just one. With a dining area and a lounge area that are heated simultaneously, you can seamlessly move through the stages of hosting without having to move away from the warmth.

Triple-sided fireplaces can also be used as smaller partitions that will allow more light into the room and will provide a clear but unobtrusive separation between spaces.

Being able to see through the fireplace can help to make your home feel larger and more open-plan without needing to carry out drastic remodelling work.

Heat & Glo RED 40 Double sided gas fireplace

Heat & Glo RED 40 Double sided gas fireplace


Inside a Direct-Vent Fireplace

Direct-vent fireplaces are easier to install and more space efficient that standard flue fireplaces. They work by extracting the heat from the combustion of gases and then redirecting the fumes out of interior rooms.

A direct-vent fireplace has a sealed glass frontage that prevents any gases from coming into or out of the room. Oxygen is drawn in from outside of the home and the vent gets rid of the fumes by exhausting them outside through a wall mounted or roof-mounted vent.


Understanding Combustion

To get the best out of your wood-burning fireplace or furnace you will need to understand the processes that occur before and during combustion. With this understanding you will be able to make your burning more efficient and can reduce the costs of heating your home.

1.Water Density

When wood is first cut down, it contains roughly 50% water. After being properly seasoned in a dry place this percentage drops to around 20% and you will notice that the wood becomes lighter. When burning wet wood, the water boils and this absorbs heat, so the less water the better.


How to Make a Fire Burn Overnight in a Wood Heater

A wood-burning heater provides a more efficient way to heat your home than gas or electricity does. One challenge that you will face with a wood furnace is keeping it alight overnight. Here are some tips on how to get a good fire burning through the night.

  • Use the right wood to start with. Slow-burning woods like iron bark and boxwood that have been seasoned for six months will be perfect because they will have little moisture left.
  • Twist newspaper into tight coils and place them in the centre of the heater.


General Fire Wisdom

A fire can seem easy to start, but to get the best out of your fireplace, you will need to tend it properly and ensure that you are taking the right steps. Here are some general tips for starting and maintaining a good fire.

  • Always have a supply of dry and seasoned wood on hand before you start. You will need kindling and different sized twigs, branches and logs to get the most out of your fire. For sustainably-sourced firewood with certified moisture content, try ordering from the Firewood Association Australia.
  • Ensure you have a critical mass – you need a bed of hot embers to have a proper fire. One log alone will not light nor maintain a good heat.


Top Ways to Stay Warm in Winter

When winter comes, it’s always better to be prepared rather than stay shivering in your home. Here are some tips on staying warm in chilly times.

  • Check your heater ahead of time so that you can identify any problems. Leaving this too late can mean you have to rush to find a repairman when things are really.
  • Heat one room with a space heater instead of heating the whole home. Heating a family room only will save you a great deal on electricity and gas.


Fireplace Inserts Buying Guide

If you have a fireplace in your home then you may feel that it is heating a larger area than it actually is. Many fireplaces only heat the immediate area, but there are ways that you can make them more efficient.

Installing a fireplace insert can increase the efficiency of your fire by up to 70%, which will make a real impact on how well it heats your home. Inserts can be bought for wood, natural gas and LPG fires, so there is a lot of flexibility.


What is a Wall Mounted Fireplace?

A wall-mounted fireplace is a fireplace that is fixed in place or partly recessed into the wall of your room. Such a fireplace will either need to be electric or bio-fuelled because these are the only fireplaces that do not require ventilation.

The main benefit of wall-mounted fireplaces is that they are beautiful to look at. They effectively look like a picture that produces a natural flickering flame. These fireplaces also have sleek designs with smooth edges, steel and glass to create a modern look.