May 21, 2019


The fireplace can bring to light images of tradition, warmth and homemade warmth, but now the word concept has come back with an emphasis on alternative heating, detoxification from fossil fuels and ecological consciousness.

Heat with two simple moves

Although it is one of the simplest and oldest devices – the concepts of heating people in a closed space, the current fireplace is a little like that of yesterday. The traditional fireplace consists of a central hearth in which the fuel is placed – usually wood – and a chimney for exhausting and exiting into the atmosphere. Depending on the fuel they use, they can be separated into wood or pellet fireplaces, and depending on how they transport the heat into the room, they can be distinguished in air or hydraulic. But their most important distinction is simple (traditional) and energy.

Insisting on energy

The simple traditional fireplaces operate in the way described above. The heat produced by the combustion of wood is irradiated by the “back” of the firebox consisting of refractory material. They are categorized into buildings (those placed on site in the area, with the right draw being difficult to achieve, resulting in poor burning quality) and prefabricated (made of refractory materials with fairly high yield and yield that reaches up to 30%). The bad thing in this case is that up to 80% of the heat produced is “lost” through the chimney to the environment.

This is how to fix the energy fireplaces, replacing the open hearth with a closed metal structure that is placed inside the existing structure. In this way the heat is trapped and then can be attributed to the space through special flexible air ducts. Reference point, the glass door of the fireplace that now resembles a stove and which closes to seal the combustion chamber. Thus, we allow the interior of the firebox to enter just as much air as we want, adjusting the intensity of the flame and thus the consumption.

Many fans are also installed in the air ducts, increasing the heat dissipation rate inside the house.

The result is saving a significant amount of fuel, which raises the system’s performance compared to a traditional one, at least 50%. In the case of pellets, power, ignition and firework times are regulated electronically while the autonomy depends on the size of the fuel store. In this case, of course, “thorn” is the increased cost of acquisition and installation, which must always be done by a skilled craftsman.

Practicality and Economy

Despite the incomparable simplicity of using the fireplace as a means of heating, let us look at some of its drawbacks and whether its economic function can overcome it. The absence of electricity for ignition is definitely one of the pro, but the difficulty of switching on, especially when the wood has moisture, can not be considered negligible. This is, of course, easily dealt with by the supply of timber in the summer months and until September. Beyond that, frequent power supply as well as necessary fire monitoring for safety reasons is required. Let us not forget, of course, the storage – transport of the wood that weighs, but also the removal of ash, which can become the housewife’s nightmare. Although all of these reasons, coupled with an equally important problem that is the products of burning the fireplace, can be a disincentive for some, the economy that offers makes many out of the difficult choice of heating system.

Hydraulic fireplaces for heat in every corner of the house

There are several cases of owners who did not think about the costs and jobs of installing a hydraulic fireplace, considering the benefits they will gain. The hydraulic fireplace adds even more to the performance of the system as it enables other home areas that are not directly in contact with the space in which they are located can be heated. It can also be used to produce hot water. It consists of a casing – water tank around the fireplace, or by pipes placed inside the house. The heat is absorbed by the water and then, through a circulator, is distributed to the heater’s bodies.

It may not be distinguishable from the automatic operation of a boiler, but the cheap fuel, especially for the fireworks hours, helps to save money as much as possible. This is particularly well known in areas away from large urban centers, where timber supply can arise e.g. from agricultural work and has negligible costs. A prerequisite, of course, is its installation by an experienced and specialized hydraulic installer, especially in cases where it is converted from an existing fireplace.

Careful installation is important because it will save much effort and trouble the owner in the future. There are not many reports from dissatisfied consumers who talked about house smoke, blackouts on other floor walls, failure to heat the remote home heaters, even leaks. Therefore, we must be careful not only to purchase the right type of fireplace, but also to choose the fitting workshop.

Fireplace and smog: Friend or foe?

Regardless of their type or function, the fireplaces have a common mischief: the burden of air with a significant amount of exhaust gas, which can and should cause concern to the sensitized consumer. When burning wood produces significant amounts of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, volatile hydrocarbons and, finally, all known particles. These rates are alarming, especially with the increasingly frequent use of fireplaces in the era of the crisis. They are responsible for the smog effect over large urban centers, but also for respiratory and other health problems associated with the quality of the air we breathe.

To make this easier to understand, it is worth mentioning that, according to a study by the National Technical University of Athens, the pollutants produced by combustion of wood in an open-air fireplace (traditional) are about 350 times more (compared to oil) carbon monoxide and 4 times more for nitrogen dioxide. But where things are even more serious, it’s in the case of droplet particles, which is 166 times larger than a simple oil boiler but also volatile hydrocarbons where pollutants increase by 2880 times!

The important thing in this case is that at least in the case of energy fireplaces, the above prices are reduced by about half.

If at these rates we also add the use of unsuitable timber from unconscious wood or wood products that have been chemically treated (eg varnishes) and are unsuitable for burning, then things become quite dangerous. In order to reduce this phenomenon somewhat, the instructions given by the state should be strictly followed, especially at the time when the phenomena are stronger. Let us therefore be wise to use wood as a basic source of heating, at least until incentives have been given to replace traditional systems with new alternatives, ecological and less polluting.

The difference with the outside

Particularly rigorous are the authorities abroad, especially in the countries of the European Union, regarding the gas emissions of each individual. Local authorities make annual recordings of the heating systems in each building (home, business, industry) and their emissions and check them at regular intervals. If a person is found with more than its permitted heating limit, it will be recorded and reviewed within one month to see if it has taken appropriate action to reduce emissions. Although the second time is the same, the fine imposed on him is in excessive amounts, and if he continues to fail to comply, local authorities have the right to force him to shut down the heating system he uses.