How to transform your fireplace this autumn.
Consumers are looking for visually appealing, space saving and energy efficient ways to transform their existing fireplaces. And if they live in homes where there is no standard chimney, they are seeking solutions to create new fireplaces, either by building a bespoke structure or making use of the existing walls.
The passion for wood
The first consideration is what fuel to use. For the past two decades, wood has been the most popular choice for anyone installing a new fire or stove. It is perceived as a sustainable fuel; it looks beautiful when it is burning; modern stoves are highly energy efficient and they can be installed either in the existing chimney or as a freestanding appliance, with the flue being routed through the roof or on the outside wall.
A good example is the Dik Geurts Ivar, one of a series of compact stoves capable of burning wood, coke or coal that includes versions that will fit into an inglenook chimney or stand alone in various locations around the home.
Another freestanding stove that offers great versatility of installation is the Dik Geurts Modivar. It is an attractive, portrait-shaped wood stove with a choice of log storage compartments and plinths to suit different styles of living space, making an elegant room feature as well as an efficient source of heating.
If you would prefer to install a wood fire insert into your existing chimney, there are many compatible models to choose from. The Dik Geurts Instyle/Prostyle series includes fires from 55 cms to 1 metre wide. They can be designed as a simple hole-in-the-wall fire or combined with a range of attractive fire surrounds and have visible frames or more subtle, frameless versions.
For those that wish to invest in more technically sophisticated wood fires, look no further than the German-built Spartherm range. They are stunning to look at, with single, 2-sided, 3-sided and tunnel versions. They also include many unique features, most notably their electronic vertically sliding glass windows, that allow for easy cleaning, maintenance and replacement of the logs.
In addition, Spartherm has developed its own app for smartphones and tablets, with which you can control the airflow and heat output of the fire along with many other functions.
The convenience of gas
Although wood stoves and fires are very popular, there are still many people that prefer the convenience of gas fires as the solution to transform their existing fireplaces. Today’s advanced gas fires generate a flame picture that is the equal of a real burning wood fire. They are also almost completely maintenance-free and more energy efficient than most wood fires.
One of the most elegant and efficient options to regenerate your old fireplace comes with the Global by DRU range of mid-priced gas fires. These models are available in a range of sizes with the option of conventional and balanced flue versions. A conventional flue gas fire connects directly to the existing chimney with minimal building work. It can be installed on its own or with a fire surround, like the Global 70XT gas fire pictured above.
Balanced flue gas fires, on the other hand, need to be connected to an outside facing wall using a concentric flue. This draws air from outside the building for combustion and expels waste gases at the same time. The result is safe, comfortable and efficient heating with a lovely flame effect.
The installation of a balanced flue gas fire normally requires the construction of a false chimneybreast to house the fire and conceal the flue. The exception to this rule is the Global cavity wall gas fire. This model has its engine installed neatly inside the wall cavity with an unobtrusive terminal on the outside wall. A slimline fire surround completes the picture, resulting in a lovely fireplace that takes up very little space in the living room.
The inspiration of design
When it comes to higher end designer gas fires, look at the DRU Maestro range, known as the ultimate fires. These contemporary models include 2-sided, 3-sided and see-through tunnel fires that can be viewed from many locations around the home. They have a Dynamic Flame Burner, which creates the most realistic set of high and dense flames that is possible from a gas fire. They are also controlled by the exclusive DRU Eco Wave app for smartphones and tablets, which allows you to adjust the flame pattern using a simple graphic display.
As they are balanced flue gas fires, they can be installed almost anywhere around the home, whilst the unique DRU PowerVent extended flue system allows for multiple fires to be installed in high rise buildings, hotels and other similar locations.
The latest model, the Maestro 60, is a designer gas fire with a unique ‘Summerlighting’ feature. This stunning model, which was recently shortlisted for the Hearth & Home awards is known as ‘the fire for all seasons.’ This is because you can switch it from gas mode in the autumn and winter to electric mode in the spring and summer. LEDs embedded in the logs produce gorgeous flames and a comforting glow at all times of the year.
Bioethanol – the green solution
Many people are seeking alternative, green fuels to replace wood, gas or electricity as primary sources of home heating. One option that is becoming increasingly popular is bioethanol, an odourless, colourless liquid derived from renewable plants such as grain crops and hay.
Bioethanol fires are available in a surprising range of sizes and designs, including built-in, table-top and freestanding models. The new Ebios Passo E bioethanol stove was recently voted Best Fireplace Suite (other fuels) at the Hearth & Home awards. It is a fashionable, cylindrical stove in a range of colour finishes that has a log fire effect almost identical to that of a real wood or gas fire.
Fires fuelled by bioethanol are 95% energy efficient, release water vapour with no harmful emissions and most require no chimney or flue, so they are the natural choice for a sustainable future.
So, when considering the best option to transform your fireplace this autumn, first evaluate what is best for your home. Do I convert the existing chimney, create a new form of chimney or opt for a completely freestanding model? If I’m going to burn wood, where will I buy it, how will I store it and how will I maintain my stove? If gas is my preferred option, do I want a classic fireplace with a fire surround or a more contemporary model? And finally, should I consider an alternative fuel such as bioethanol
Whatever your conclusion, there are many options available with which you can create the fireplace of your dreams this autumn.
For further information, visit www.drufire.com