Latest Blog

Fireplaces for Heating

Posted: 3rd April 2014 by Fireplaces South West

Fireplaces have traditionally provided warmth for households for thousands of years.

Early fire pits date back to prehistoric times and gradually evolved into raised hearths in buildings. Chimneys were developed in Europe in the 11th or 12th century, allowing smoke to be vented outside.

Since the early days, fireplaces have become much more about styling a room rather than necessity, but a good fireplace should do both.

Warming up on a cold winter day or drying out after getting soaked in the rain is one of the things fireplaces do best, but when it comes to heating a whole room what is the best fireplace to have fitted?

Older fireplaces tend to have a fairly low efficiency rating so installing a new heavy firebox can increase heating efficiency.

These modern fireboxes heat in two ways, firstly by heat being transferred directly through the large glass window whilst the fire is burning and secondly through radiated heat.

As the fire burns it also heats up the surrounding stone, which then dissipates heat from its surface.   

Open fireplaces work in a similar way, with the fire providing direct heat and also heating up the fireback - the heavy (traditionally cast iron) piece of metal that sits directly behind the fire.

Calculating heat efficiency is complicated when it comes to fireplaces, but as a rough guide installing a firebox can increase heat efficiency from around 15% to 80%.

To find out more about which fireplace is best for your house, get in touch with the experts at Fireplaces South West.