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What makes a fireplace?

Heating and viewing

When planning or renovating a home, most people think of installing a new fireplace and have a certain image in mind:

Blazing flames, a glowing bed of embers, lots of fire atmosphere. All visible in the cosy surroundings of one's own living room.

In contrast to a classic storage stove, fireplaces, gas fireplaces or open "Urfeuer" fireplaces are not primarily designed for the heating aspect. Rather, it is about integrating the unique atmosphere of a wood fire into people's homes. Heating for the senses, so to speak.

But does this mean that open fireplaces or stoves are not suitable for heating at all? And what exactly distinguishes a heating fireplace from a tiled stove?

Fast heat - even at the touch of a button 

In the world of wood fire, in terms of the type of heating, there are two fundamentally different worlds: long-lasting heat and fast heat. The latter category includes most heating fireplaces, wood stoves, gas fireplaces and open fires.

Fast heat means that the living space (and thus the person) is supplied with heat much more quickly than is the case with a storage stove. The reason for this lies in the type of construction.

Fast heat stoves have no storage elements. This means that the heating gas goes directly from the combustion chamber into the chimney. The heat produced comes directly through large viewing glass or combustion chamber openings (in the case of an open fireplace).

As soon as the fire is lit, the heat is released through the glass and you can feel it within minutes. With a gas fireplace this works with an ignition at the push of a button - warmth in seconds.

But of course the spectacle is over just as quickly once the fire goes out. Long-lasting storage effects like with a tiled stove or masonry heater do not exist with a fireplace or even a gas fireplace. Once it has gone out, it cools down again quickly.

It can also quickly overheat the room if the dimensions of the glass or opening do not match the nature and size of the room. The fireplace releases too much heat into the air too quickly and a sauna effect sets in. This can be avoided by an optimal dimensioning of the system calculated by the specialist tradesman.

Simply beautiful, this wood fire 

At the same time, the best view of the flame play is made possible. Two birds with one stone. And the wood fire becomes a show fire, because most households have modern, highly complex heating systems and do not need the wood fire as a primary heating source.

You just want to enjoy the fire, savour the visual journey. At the same time, of course, there is still the basic need to secure warmth with renewable raw material from the region.

Fireplaces also fall into this category. Of course, like handmade fireplaces, these give off heat through the outer shell. But this only has minor effects.

Who are fireplaces and gas fireplaces suitable for?

Nowadays, very few people want to do without the visual beauty of a wood fire. This is exactly why nowadays tiled stoves and kit system masonry heaters are also equipped with relatively large glazing. But compared to storage heaters, there are a few fundamental differences in practice that buyers should be aware of:

Due to their rapid heat development, fireplaces and gas fireplaces are particularly suitable for people who are at home less often. After a long day at work, you can quickly create exactly the atmosphere you need for 1-2 cosy hours. Gas fireplaces in particular score points here with their ability to be switched on practically at the touch of a button.

Open "Urfeuer") fireplaces are also just the thing for cosy hours that require less heat but a visual experience. With the advantage that here the sense of smell can also be indulged by the aromas of the wood fire.

Fireplaces are above all easy to set up and dismantle due to their compact, self-contained form and are therefore particularly suitable for the occupants of rental properties and for all customers who have less space available.

Specialist tip

Before building a fireplace, you should be aware of exactly what you expect from it. Primarily heat? Perhaps integration into the heating concept? Or primarily the visual aspect? Perhaps fire at the push of a button? There is the right appliance for every need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Klaus Leihkamm, Head of craftsmen consultation & customer service

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