There are not many things that could look more comfortable and smell nicer than burning logs. That is why, before each owner of a private house, the question of choice arises: a fireplace or a stove? Both options have their own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it is worth comparing them with each other and making the right decision.
Let's start comparing the fireplace and stove from an aesthetic point of view. The authentic design of a real stone fireplace is incomparable to anything else. Mosaic tiles, brickwork, neatly laid stone, marble cladding will all become the centerpiece of any living space. Dancing flames, the incredible appearance of the stone vault, the smell of wood burning in the fireplace make it extremely popular with homeowners.
On the other hand, although wood-burning stoves can be made in different styles: from modern smooth and glossy to traditional old Russian ones, it is not so easy to fit them into the overall interior. Due to the fact that all wood-burning stoves are necessarily equipped with glass doors, you will not be able to enjoy the sight of live fire.
Any design with a focal device can face natural safety issues. Unlike gas fuels, by-products and creosote from wood burning can accumulate in the chimney and create a serious fire hazard. Certified stand-alone stoves offer a more complete combustion process than open fireplaces. And they are not as susceptible to creosote buildup as open burning mantels.
Sparks are another dangerous prerequisite for fire. They can easily fly out of open fireplaces and cause injury or property damage. Of course, installing screens and doors on fireplaces can help ensure fire safety. On the other hand, the ovens are already pre-equipped with these protective mechanisms, and you do not have to put in additional effort.
Also, an open burning fireplace can be a potential safety problem for children and pets. Wood stoves are again safer in this regard. Although there is a possibility of burns in case of contact directly with the oven or door.
Select by function
It's no secret that wood is generally the least expensive fuel among gas, oil and coal. However, wood-burning fireplaces are not the most efficient way to heat rooms. Their thermal efficiency is about 10%. Most of the heat simply comes out of the chimney. On the other hand, wood stoves can provide 3 times the heat from 1/3 of the wood, which means they are more efficient and provide more heat output than open fireplaces. When it comes to heating efficiency, wood stoves benefit.
Burning wood fire does not emit more CO2 than wood that naturally decays in the forest. Therefore, certified wood-burning stoves produce very little harmful emissions due to their closed combustion system. According to reviews, they are more effective, warm better and provide warmth. They can also complement your current heating system and help reduce utility bills during the cold winter months.
Unlike stoves, fireplaces are open and closed.Open ones are those that cannot be left and gone, because the slightest draft or a factor such as children or pets can affect the fire situation. What manufacturers are constantly warning about.
From a practical point of view, open fireplaces also have some nuances:
- inability to control the combustion process. Oxygen is constantly supplied to an open firebox, and the fire is in an intense stage of combustion. Thus, firewood burns out very quickly, which is uneconomical.
- even if the fireplace is brick, the heating process will still be quite long. Since at first the brick will absorb heat into itself, and only then give it to the room.
- due to the intensity of the open fireplace, there is a chance to overheat the room, since there is no way to shut off the oxygen supply to the open combustion chamber.
Closed fireplaces can be found much more often. A closed firebox is safe, modern and practical. It has a long burning function. It is also possible to control the intensity of the combustion of the flame, that is, we can reduce or increase the supply of oxygen to the combustion chamber, and this will save the wood resource. In addition, you can always make an open fireplace from a closed fireplace only by lifting the door.
Where to install?
The flame has powerful energy. Fire has united people since ancient times. When a fire appears in the house, be it in the fireplace or candles, it attracts the whole family.
If you want to place a Feng Shui fireplace / stove, then the best place for them is in the living room. They must always be cleaned, that is, without burnt ash and with a clean chimney. The firewood must be constantly loaded, the fireplace must not remain empty.
The fireplace / stove and the fire emanating from them are elements of nature. It is inappropriate when they are placed in the center of power of the house, creating a “burning heart” phenomenon. Therefore, they should be installed along the walls, mainly on the south side. Conversely, a mirror placed above the fireplace can enhance the pros and prevent the downsides. It is appropriate if there are leafy flowers in a pot on the sides of the heating structure, because the wood element feeds the fire, which, in turn, feeds the earth element.
Hybrid stove and fireplace
This hybrid is also called "fireplace stove". It is this design that is gaining unprecedented popularity now. Their main advantage lies, of course, in combining the basic ideas of the fireplace and stove. The fireplace stove has a large firebox with a closed heat-resistant door, the glass of which allows you to observe the flame. The presence of smoke circuits ensures heat accumulation even better than that of a stove. Its firebox makes it possible to place a large number of logs at a time. One fireplace stove is capable of heating a space of about 80 square meters.
A hybrid of a stove and a fireplace can be flooded in different modes:
- The first method is similar to the open fireplace method. The gases immediately go to the ceiling and the frame of the furnace itself does not heat up.
- The gases follow and escape through regulated smoke flows.
- Due to its versatility, a hybrid of a stove and a fireplace is considered the best heating agent.
Standard fireplace / stove construction: fireplace insert connected to the chimney with a stainless steel wall pipe. The chimney must have a base - this is a condensate trap; inspection hole and connection point. Previously, a necessary element of the furnace was rough, but now such a design is almost never found. When we burn wood in a fireplace insert, the combustion products are removed through the chimney and the boiler, which is powered by a built-in hood. Immediately after the start of firewood burning, heat begins to flow into the room through the glass of the firebox.
Manufacturers of stoves and fireplaces do not recommend installing them yourself.You can always find a construction team, even for a country house, which, having coordinated the project with you, will deal with both the installation of heating structures and their finishing. By the way, you can finish both the stove / fireplace itself and their chimney.
So, the choice of a heater depends on what you prefer. If aesthetics, ambience and authenticity are your main criteria, then the choice will fall on the fireplace. If you want a highly efficient heating system, then a wood-burning stove is the best choice.