Baby, it’s cold outside…
…but it is cosy and warm inside – in front of this glorious open-hearth fireplace. Santa found it so inviting that when he came down the chimney he paused, to warm up from the cold frosty weather outside, before starting to deliver the presents on his list.
How do you choose the best option for your home and find a ‘grate’ focal point to your living space. Local award-winning builder Kisiel Group helps you to review the best source of heating so that you can welcome not only Santa but all your guests to somewhere comforting, warm, and welcoming.
1. An Open Fire
If sitting round a warm fire appeals to you – relaxing with a cup of hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows in the fire – then your choice just has to be an open fire.
It may be obvious, but you do need a chimney to have an open fire. You will need to have the chimney checked that it is in good working order. Whether the chimney is brick, clay, twin walled or lined, it is recommended that the chimney is swept at least once a year.
A tip for storing the logs for your open fire: make sure that they are under cover and there is a good air flow all around the stacked logs. Ideally the logs should be off the ground so that they do not become damp and at least one and a half metres from the foundations of your home. Bring the logs into your home the day before you need them for the open fire for best results.
2. A Wood-Burner
If you still want to slip off your boots and warm your toes in front of a fire, but don’t want an open fire, then a wood-burner is your answer.
You have the effect of a burning fire but without the loss of heat which goes up the chimney with a real open fire. The stove holds the heat, and this is transferred into the room making this an energy efficient option.
Wood-burners used to be fairly standard in style but nowadays there are so many styles – traditional, modern, contemporary, hanging, to fit into a fire place or to stand alone as a real feature in a room. A neat design feature of some is the storage of logs for the fire can be built into the wood burner so you no longer need a log basket alongside the fireplace.
If you choose a multi fuel stove that will burn both wood and coal – then if the wood supply is low, you can easily purchase some coal. Alternatively, be ecological. Have you heard of coffee logs? Available in many supermarkets, they are made from waste coffee grounds collected from cafes, offices, and many other places serving coffee – so you are helping to recycle rather than adding to our landfill sites where they emit harmful greenhouse gases.
3. An Electric Heater
Reading a Christmas story to your child or grandchild by the fire is a special treat for any parent or grandparent.
Sometimes it is not possible to have a flue to the external space or you may not have a chimney, so electric is the way to go – a non-intrusive heater with power from a multi setting fan heater. You have the option on warmer evenings to turn the heat off but keep the glow of a cosy fire. They can be very realistic looking with natural logs or you can go for a more in vogue stone effect.
They can be more expensive to run per KW than a gas fire, but the bonus is that they can be fitted anywhere where there is a power source. Just plug in and go!
4. A Gas Fire
Watching the flames, do you become mesmerised by the colours and the movement of the flames dancing in the hearth?
You might think I was talking about an open fire but you would be wrong. Gas stoves can offer a high output of heat and look very authentic – the closest you can get to a real fire but no mess to set up. Just turn the switch and you are away. You can adjust the flame height through lifelike coals and painted logs giving a real authentic look.
Now we have what can only be described as a ‘hole in the wall’ fires that give a very sleek and minimalist look and can be positioned anywhere when you can install a flue system which is often incorporated into the product.
5. Bioethanol and Gel Fires
If enjoying a good read in front of a warm fire snuggled under a cosy colourful throw is your idea of heaven – then try a bioethanol fire.
Bioethanol fires are a sleek and modern look to any home and all they need is adequate ventilation. They are designed to be free standing and they are so flexible that they can be installed anywhere – wall mounted, ceiling hanging, built into a wall or even a table-top version.
Derived from the fermentation and distillation of crops, one litre of bioethanol lasts approximately 3.5 hours. Burning with 98% efficiency, there is no smoke. They are safe to use, give a real flame and create a good heat source. Gel fires are another option, but the additives added to the Bioethanol can leave a smell as they burn.
6. And The Last Word…
Accessories for the fireplace come in all shapes, sizes and uses so have fun selecting them to work with the décor in your living space. Safety always comes first. Never leave an open fire unattended, so make sure you include a fire guard as one of your accessories. If you have young children or pets, do not leave them on their own in front of a fire or heating source.
Whichever heating option works for you, always have it installed by a qualified competent person.
If your interest has been kindled and you would like more advice for your home refurbishment or renovation, you can speak to one of the Kisiel Group team so that they can bring their award winning talents to help you create that welcoming feel to your living space.
When the winter winds blow outside, step into a warm cosy home and enjoy relaxing in front of your fire!
Contributor: Kisiel Group | The Award-Winning Design & Build Practice
Kisiel Group is a multi-award-winning building contractor in London that offers design and build services, home renovations, refurbishments and consultancy. For advice and guidance on your next home-build project, ring +44 (0)20 3984 7410 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
(Disclaimer: This blog is a paid promotion. All views and opinions are our own.)