Henriette Fireplace February 13th, 2018 - 10:42:07
While other fireplaces & accessories look better when they are clean and shiny, the rustic charm of wrought iron or antique brass cannot be discounted. These metals on fireplace tools and door frames make them virtually maintenance-free because they do not have to be completely shiny to look good. However, these metals have a tendency to heat up, so it is highly recommended that a pair of kitchen mittens be kept nearby in case one has to open the hot doors. As an aid in making a purchase, one should take a picture of the fireplace and hearth, along with the fireplace tools, and take it to the home improvement center. The picture will help the buyer visualize the room and select the right fireplace door to fit the décor.
There are three different styles of gas fireplaces: the direct vent model, the top vent design, and the vent-free model. The direct vent gas fireplace uses two vent pipes that lead directly to the outside. One pipe uses combustion air from the outside while the other vents the exhaust gas. The top vent gas fireplace design can be installed into existing fireplaces and uses the metal or brick chimney as the exhaust vent. The combustion air for top vent fireplaces is drawn from inside the home while the chimney vents the exhaust gas. The vent-free gas fireplace model uses no exhaust vent. This style includes an oxygen-depletion sensor that turns off the gas if it senses a dangerous lack of oxygen inside the house. While fireplace manufacturers claim that vent-free fireplaces burn clean, are energy-efficient and dont threaten indoor air quality, be aware that a number of states do not permit the installation of vent-free fireplaces. In the New England states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and Connecticut installation of vent-free gas fireplaces is permitted. Massachusetts has in the past not authorized the installation of vent free gas fireplaces for safety reasons.
Fireplace Inserts If you have a masonry fireplace but dont like the associated, draftiness, energy costs or overall inefficiency, you should consider purchasing a fireplace insert, sometimes referred to as a fireplace stove insert. A fireplace insert is basically a wood stove designed to fit into a fireplace. Fireplace inserts are usually constructed of cast iron or steel just like wood stoves. Installing a fireplace insert will typically require the installation of a chimney liner. The chimney liner essentially narrows and insulates the chimney vent and connects directly onto the fireplace insert creating a closed highly efficient system. No more opening and closing the damper. Fireplace inserts can use various fuel options and are clean burning (minimal smoke and particulate emissions). Fireplace inserts like wood stoves are heavy, usually weighing upwards of 300 pounds. This means delivery and installation are better left to certified installers or professional chimney sweeps.
An alternative to using a fireplace brush to get the rest of the ash out would be to use a vacuum. Make sure you use a vacuum that has a good filter on it, as ash has very tiny particles. Ash vacuums are specially designed with extra fine filters, so this would be a great option. It is not as messy as sweeping up all that ash, either! Another advantage to using ash vacuums is that you do not have to wait until your ashes and embers are completely cooled before vacuuming them up. Make sure you carefully read all labels and instructions on your specific ash vacuum. If you really want to do a deep cleaning, you can use a damp rag and wipe down the walls and floor of your firebox. This is completely optional and only for those who like that "white glove" test.