Some fires smoke to a degree. Some do so in a way people choose to put up with, other fires end up smoking to such a degree that the fire actually becomes unusable which is not only extremely frustrating, but is also very dangerous. If you burn coal in your fire then the fumes and soot deposits in the room will be much more uncomfortable and dirty than if you are burning wood.
Essentially if you have an open fire that smokes then it is possibly because of one of a number of things. The main causes of a fire which lets smoke into a room are either because it has a chimney diameter which is too small for the size of the opening in the fireplace or possibly the room in which the fire is located has an insufficient air supply.
Other causes within the property may include the fact that there are other fires or stoves, extraction fans in open plan houses or externally vented appliances competing for the same air supply as the fire or perhaps there is a blocked or leaking chimney which has reduced the performance of an otherwise workable chimney.
There are also a number of external factors that can cause an open fire to smoke under certain situations, for example a chimney which isn’t high enough or one where the exit is too low in relation to other aspects of the roof. Trees, high banks or other properties which are high and in close proximity to a chimney can also cause problems for fires.
So, what can you do about a smoking chimney? The first thing is to stay safe. Fit a carbon monoxide alarm if you must use the fire, although it isn’t recommended that you do. Secondly, get in touch with a HETAS qualified engineer who specialises in open fires to look at your fire and make recommendations on potential remedies.
Be prepared to fight for your open fire. Many retailers and installers today will simply tell you that you have to install a stove. That often isn’t the case but it is the easiest and most convenient route for the retailer. There are a few specialists in solid fuel open fires out there such as Camelot Real Fires who will be happy to help and advise you.
If you have a question regarding your open fire, such as ‘why does my fire smoke?’ then please visit the www.camelotrealfires.co.uk website to find out further information.
Many people choose to self-build their property because they wish to be involved with every aspect of designing and building their home. Some will actually complete the building work themselves, although the majority will employ a builder or specific tradesman to carry out the task. Designing and building a self-build home means that the house can be built to the exact specification of the owner, for example the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of the kitchen, plus any individual features which can be added to the home.
Many homeowners decide to install a wood burning fire in their new home. Planning a self-build home can allow them to choose a design of fire which will suit the style of the house, making it not only a practical object but also a stylish feature. Open fires seem to be enjoying something of a revival as homeowners are trying to reduce the cost of their rising heating bills along with a period or traditional British style. Many homeowners relish the opportunity to design a brand new house which will include all of their dream features.
Solid fuel fires are often included in the design of a new home not only for their green credentials and reduced running cost but also because there is so much choice on the market in terms of stoves. People sometimes worry about having solid fuel fires in what are termed ‘timber framed’ buildings which are common in self builds, however it’s perfectly possible to do this safely. Wood burning fires which have been built and installed correctly and are maintained in the appropriate way are perfectly safe for homeowners to use.
What people don’t realise is that instead of choosing from the range of standard products which are currently on the market, you can get fires which comply with the latest regulations that are made to order. Using specialist companies to create your bespoke fire means that what the homeowner has isn’t just distinctive – it’s unique to them and their home.
Once the fire has been installed in the home, the fitter should be able to offer advice and guidance regarding how best to care for the open fire to ensure it burns efficiently and most of all burns safely.
If you would like to find out more information regarding open fires and solid fuel fires then feel free to take a look at the camelotrealfires.co.uk website.
For many people, having an open fire can be the making of a home; it creates a central focal point for visitors, as well as providing valuable heat during the cold winter months. Although many homes have open fires installed many years after the build of the property, some house builders choose to install an open fire during the build of a new home.
However, builders who make beautiful timber frame buildings are often informed by their customers that they are concerned about having a stove or open fire installed due to the fire risk. This is a common misconception. With modern building regulations and qualified installers it is perfectly possible to create a flame proof flue and fire place. These fires are as safe as any other and therefore safety need not be compromised by having a wood burning fire in a timber framed property.
Customers who are considering the hidden timber frame construction may also be concerned about installing an open fire in a timber frame property. The same building regulations will ensure a safe environment to light a fire on all occasions. Open fires in particular offer additional opportunities to create ventilation in timber frame houses – unlike wood burning stoves.
Modern homes are so well sealed that providing sufficient ventilation to comply with building regulations can be a real challenge – some even struggle with moss on the windows as there is insufficient ventilation. An open fire is one of the few remaining permissible sources of ventilation into a building yet they can still be an efficient source of heating. Stoves offer a reduced benefit as they are effectively sealed to the room.
Although there are countless modern fires on the market which will suit the majority of homes, nothing can quite beat the aroma and character of a traditional open fire, even in a modern building. There are plenty of mass produced open fires which can be fitted into many homes, yet they are not always suitable for the existing character of the property or they may simply just not fit the dimensions of the fireplace.
Over the last 10 years, many retailers have become used to describing all open fires as inefficient – mainly because they want to sell you a new stove. Whilst it is true a traditional open grate fire will be only 10% efficient, for those who want to hear the crackle of the wood as it burns, see more of the flames as they lick around the fire and smell the subtle sweet aroma of well-seasoned hard wood as it burns, there are some fantastic alternatives readily available.
Some of these alternatives are able to offer more flexibility in terms of design and materials than any standard stove manufacturer and can look just as stunning as traditional open fires.
In the middle of 2013, the UK will be coming into line with a European directive that all stoves and open fires have to be CE marked in order to be sold and installed in the UK. Whilst most products on the market are already approved, you will need to be aware that some are not. Buying and installing one of these products could leave you open to a fine, invalidate your insurance and cause problems when you try to sell the house.
It’s easy to find out if stove is CE marked – you just need to ask the retailer. If they don’t know the answer, then the chances are it isn’t CE marked; therefore you should avoid buying it. These new regulations also apply to open fires. Some are already approved but the situation regarding buying a traditional grate to put in a fire was unclear when specialist advisors were contacted in September 2012.
Having a real fire in the home can really help to create a cosy ambience within the main living space. Although they do require more maintenance than an electric or a gas fire, traditionalists believe you really can’t beat the warmth and view of an open fire. When purchasing a new fire, it is always best to speak to an expert in order to ensure your chimney and fire place are suitable for the type of fire which you wish to purchase.
Canopies look fantastic when they are designed correctly to complement the fireplace and the room. However, due to a lack of specialist suppliers, too often they look agricultural in manufacture, they don’t work or they just don’t match the fire place they are installed in. Creating the right canopy requires the designer to understand that first and foremost, a canopy is a piece of furniture. Everyone who visits the home will look at it so it is essential that it must look right. This is down to size, design, materials and craftsmanship.
A canopy will only work if it is sized correctly to the flue or chimney. This means the designer has to work within the constraints of the sizes that will match the chimney it is installed to. However, there is another way. By using a flue connector to a hidden flue which is then attached directly to a fire or stove, the size of the canopy can be liberated from its functional role and thus the task of creating a canopy that looks right can be made much easier.
A small number of premium convector open fires offer this design approach meaning customers get a fire that works and canopies can be created so that they really do look like they have been in a fireplace forever.
Stoves are designed to run at optimum performance in order to deliver their benefits. If they are run too low or with the door open, many will not perform well and can start causing issues with deposits in the flue or even spilling dangerous gases into the room. Ensuring the correct stove sizing is ascertained for your room will avoid this issue.
As an alternative to a stove, a convecting open fire can offer credible performance as it can actually offer up to 50% efficiency yet is much more forgiving in use than a stove. As there is no door and the air supply can circulate more freely it can be said that an open fire will tolerate greater variations in loading and thus output.
Whether a stove is better than an open fire really depends on what you need in your fireplace. If it’s maximum performance and efficiency you need and you need the fire to make a real contribution to the heating in your house a wood burning or multifuel stove may be best. With efficiencies of between 65% to 85% they maximise the heat potential from every log.
There are open fires available however that offer credible performance of between 45% – 50% with good heat outputs and they can work very well in conjunction with stoves elsewhere in the home.
These open fires can offer a much more traditional look than many stoves which you may feel is more in keeping with the style of your property. Open fires can also offer opportunities in terms of increased ventilation on more modern properties and generally have less need to re-line a chimney on installation in an older property which can save between £1000 and £1500.
Bear in mind most stoves need to run with the doors shut and have a relatively small glass window on the fire so don’t buy one of you want to hear the cackle of the fire and see a large fire opening. Stoves are however the only option really if you live in a smoke control area.
For details of one open fires with good heat out put go to http://camelotrealfires.co.uk/thermovent_convector_fire.html
When buying a new home or updating the look of an existing property, it is important to look at the overall heating system to make sure that it is not only efficient, but that it also looks good. Many people opt for a central heating system which can heat the whole house, but then also end up purchasing either an electric or a gas fire which they use as feature in the living room.
Instead, it may be worth taking a look at the luxury wood burning stoves which are currently on the market, as these not only look great, but are also a great source of heating for the home. Wood burning stoves come in all shapes, sizes and budgets. They start at £500 and go all the way up to £10,000 plus.
In most cases where a fire is already installed, flue liners will be promoted as a required part of a stove solution. This is all very well, except for the fact that installing even the cheapest form of liner on a 5 metre chimney will add a further £1000 to £1500 to the overall price. It’s an aspect of stoves that many people aren’t aware of when purchasing a stove and they are told it’s the same for all fires. This isn’t the case actually, as open fires manufacturers generally don’t stipulate a flue must be lined to fit their product.
Although there are various styles of stove flue liners available on the market, not needing to line a flue can save the homeowners a huge amount on the overall project.
In recent years, it was commonly thought that most chimney related fires in a building with a thatched roof were caused by embers and sparks from an open fire. However, it has since been discovered that although these embers can of course cause a fire, it is more likely that a fire is caused by the heat which is transmitted from a solid fuel stove via the chimney bricks to the underside of the thatch.
A single skin of brick is able to pass up to 85% of the flue gas temperature to the outer surface of a chimney. The heat is then transferred to the thatched roof, and when this heat is sustained at approximately 200 degrees, this can easily cause a thatch fire. However, traditional luxury open fires have large amounts of cool air from the room the fire is situated in which can help to cool the overall flue gas temperature. This reduces the risk of thatched roof fire.
Although stoves are often thought to be more fuel efficient than real fires and fireplaces, it is worth considering the fire hazard of having such an appliance in a building with a thatched roof especially when modern convecting open fires can deliver credible performance. Many insurance companies will refuse to insure a thatched roof home with a stove, or indeed they will charge extremely high premiums. The homeowner may find they can get a more affordable insurance policy if they use open fires and fireplaces instead.
In order to reduce the risk of fire and to keep homes safe when using modern heating appliances, there are a number of safety points which can be considered. For example, chimneys should be swept by a professional chimney sweep on a regular basis and the chimney liner should be regularly inspected to ensure no tar deposits are building up.
When homeowners decide to change their main source of heat, they should take advice and guidance from a specialist who should be able to advise them on not only the most efficient appliance for their home, but also the safest.
Many people nowadays decide to purchase a stove to heat their home, because it is very often what retailers push at them. This is because the retailers state that there aren’t many alternatives if fuel efficiency and even heat distribution is desired. However, there are credible alternatives out there in the form of convector fires. These offer good efficiency, but still have the advantages of an open fire with all the sights, sounds and aromas that go with one.
Convector fires are able to create a truly efficient source of heating. Not only can it heat the room in which it is located in, but it can also heat the nearby rooms. As the convection creates increased movement of air within the room, this can then radiate the heat into the surrounding rooms. The user can also vary the draw in order to control the heat output.
Other alternatives to stoves include having a traditional open fire. Although these are not able to heat more than the room they are situated in, they are able to create the ambiance and cosy atmosphere which a lot of homeowners desire. Nothing beats the crackle of logs on the fire and the dance of the flames of a fire burning during the winter.
The UK has a long tradition of using fires for both cooking and as a source of heat. However, that changed a lot when the wood burning stove became popular as it introduced a totally new look into the English home. One which meant people had to embrace something modern in the old style property as none of them look like the traditional fire.
Period style stoves should ideally suit the type and style of home in which they are situated. Some homes simply don’t suit a modern style stove, and may require an open fire which has been designed specifically to the measurements which are available and is in keeping with the rest of the interior of the home.
Having an open fireplace is once again becoming a popular feature for homeowners. An open fire can create a cosy and welcoming ambiance to almost any type of home, and if used correctly with the correct appliances it can also save you money on your heating bills as well as being kinder to the environment.
Two key elements of an efficient open fire are fire grates and fire backs. A fire grate will keep the wood off the fireplace floor, meaning a higher quality burn can be achieved. As air is able to circulate underneath the fire, it causes the fire to become hotter, which in turn means that you can heat your home using less fuel. Fire grates also allow the smoke from the fire to rise up into the chimney as opposed to circulating around your house.
Old style wood burning open fires used to send approximately 90% of the heat from the fire straight up into the chimney instead of being circulated around the home. However, modern style free standing or inset convector fires have a much improved efficiency of around 50%, with stoves only losing around 25% of their heat. As less fuel is therefore needed to heat the home, this can save the homeowner a substantial amount of money, and they can also feel satisfied that this option is much kinder to the environment.
There are a number of different designs of modern fireplaces which buyers can choose from. Some people may wish to retain the traditional look by investing in handmade canopies with the classic dog irons and grate fronts. Other homeowners may prefer a more modern look, which is still easily achieved with new designs of fire places.
Fire backs can still be manufactured using traditional cast iron. Many traditionalists like to purchase those which have an attractive design such as a fleur de lis to add a decorative touch. More modern styles are made using curved stainless steel. These new designs not only radiate heat from the fire into the room which it is situated in, but they are also able to reflect the light of the fire into the room.
Find out more about open fires by visiting our website.