The Fireplace: An Alternative To Heating

The fireplace was designed to diffuse heat in a room. Its construction requires heavy work. In addition, it is pretty expensive. There are two types of fireplace: open hearth and closed hearth. But which one should you choose?

The open fireplace

The draught of a chimney depends on the materials used, the size of the flue and air inlets, the quality of the installation and its integrity. It ensures the proper functioning of the chimney.

The open fireplace is a “supplementary heater”, i.e., it complements the primary heating system. It offers a “real sensory pleasure” thanks to the smell of the wood fire and the fizz of the flames. Modern appliances cannot replace the natural warmth of wood smoke.

Unlike the insert and the closed fireplace, the open fireplace consumes a lot of wood. However, its efficiency is 10% to 15%. For the fire to last long enough, it must be well fed. Since the fireplace is open, there is also a risk that the embers will escape from the fire.

Short logs of about 30 cm wide are generally used. The air intake is provided by a duct opening outside and at a lower level than the fireplace. This duct must be protected from the wind.

This type of chimney has 3 sources of heat:

  • the circulation of hot air ;
  • radiation from the flames;
  • conduction

The closed fireplace

The closed fireplace is modern. The fireplace is closed by a glass pane or a door. For a fireplace with :

  • A closed glass or door: the efficiency is between 70% and 85%;
  • An open glass or door: the efficiency is the same as for an open fireplace, i.e. 10% to 15%.
  • In general, the closed fireplace has 3 faces or 3 panes of glass. One of them opens to draw in and heat the air, then diffuse the heat into the room. Not only does it consume less wood, but the fire lasts more than 10 hours. In addition, it requires regular maintenance to keep it clean. Chimney cleaning includes washing the glass and collecting the ashes.
  • The construction of a closed fireplace requires significant work. For this reason, it is helpful to hire a company that specializes in restoring and designing fireplaces.

The price of a fireplace and its installation

The price of a fireplace depends on the material and the model:

  • The price of an open fireplace is between 500 euros and 5,000 euros;
  • A closed fireplace costs between 1,000 and 5,000 euros. You can benefit from a tax credit.
  • For their installation, you should plan between 1 000 euros and 2 000 euros.