A Wood burning fireplace is a great way to incorporate the inviting warmth and appeal of a fireplace into your new home or remodeling project. A manufactured wood burning fireplace is a cheaper and more efficient alternative to a standard masonry fireplace and the finished result looks just as nice if not better. A manufactured fireplace uses what is generally referred to as an engineered or prefab chimney or for its venting. An engineered chimney is made up of metal sections of pipe that are joined together and installed with the fireplace. While the materials on this type of chimney may cost more than those of a more traditional brick and mortar chimney the labor is much less involved and therefore much cheaper.
In additional to the cheaper initial installation a manufactured fireplace is going to be more efficient than a masonry fireplace so in the long run it will save you money in fuel costs too. Manufactured fireplaces are much more efficient at heating your home and some even have the capability to run duct work to multiple rooms. With a traditional masonry fireplace you will probably ended up losing more heat out the chimney than you will be putting into the house.
There are two different types of wood burning fireplaces. We will break down the differences between the two so you can make the best decision for your needs.
Open Front Wood Burning Fireplace
This type of unit is the cheaper of the two and is closer to a traditional stone or brick fireplace for the fact that it is open in the front. Generally these fireplaces are less efficient than the other type but they are still more efficient than a traditional fireplace. A blower is typically not an option on these but some do have decorative doors. If you are interested in having a fireplace more for the occasional use and the ambiance a fireplace can add than an open front fireplace is better suited for you. If you are really looking for a way to put some serious heat into the home check the 2nd style.
High Efficiency Wood Burning Fireplace
In contrast to the open front wood burning fireplace this style has a set of gasket tight doors similar to what you would find on a freestanding wood stove. Having a set of doors makes this type of fireplace very efficient. Sealed doors only allow the fireplace to draw in the correct amount of air needed for combustion. This does two things it allows you to really control the fire and prevents any excess air being drawn up the flue. By being able to control the fire you can get an extended burn time some units will give you up to 12 hours. Most of these units have optional room air blowers to speed up the heating process. Some have a blower that can be ducted to draw air from another room which will really help the air circulate around the house.
There are some new style fireplaces that offer you the best of both worlds. Take a second to check out new Napoleon NZ7000 and the Napoleon NZ8000. These new fireplaces from Napoleon bring you the best of the two types. They feature a “Zero Gravity” door system that allows the glass and screen to effortlessly slide up into the wall above the unit. This allows you to have an open fireplace when you want to but by closing the glass you have an efficient heat source. In addition to this cool new feature these units also bring you a wood fireplace with a sleek modern look.
Where Can I Install A Wood Burning Fireplace?
Both the high efficiency and the open front wood fireplaces’ exhausts have to vented vertically. Every unit has specific requirements for the chimneys but most follow some general guidelines. The chimney termination point usually has to be 2 feet higher than anything within a 10 foot radius.
On most installations this usually means they will be 2 feet higher than the peak of the house. If you can get a rough idea of the measurement for your installation it may help you get a rough idea of the installation cost when you are shopping for your fireplace. Any professional installer is going to check with your local building department first because sometimes local codes can vary.
What Is A Zero Clearance Wood Burning Fireplace?
When Researching or shopping you may run into the term “Zero Clearance Wood Fireplace”. What this means is that the fireplace can be built in using combustible materials such as wood framing and drywall. Even though the are called zero clearance there is still usually small clearances that have to be met when installing. There will also be clearances to keep in mind when installing the finishing materials on the front of the fireplace such as mantles etc. If you have a vision in mind for how you want the fireplace to look when you are done make sure you talk about that with your fireplace professional to make sure the final result is exactly what you wanted.
We Can Help You Choose The Right Fireplace
Here at the Chimney King of New England we provide our customers with an on site evalutation. Just give us a call and we can set up an appointment to come out to the house and take the measurements for you. We can help you find the right fireplace for you and then give you an accurate estimate for the cost including installation. We will go over with you all of your available options and help you decide what you want included.
Whether you choose the open front style or a high efficiency wood fireplace we know you will be happy the first time your are relaxing in front of a nice warm fire.