Open fire or wood burner

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mrs mud

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Open fire or wood burner
« on: January 26, 2012, 10:04 »
We currently have an open fire which personally I love.  For me it's only downside is you only feel the heat when you sit close to it, the rest of the room is quite cold. 

My OH wants to install a multi fuel type stove, he says it will heat up the room and stay warm for longer.

I feel it's such a shame to loose "the real thing"  and replace it with a black box, but I do agree it's inefficient as most of the heat goes straight up the chimney.

I know wood burners are popular now but has anyone got regrets about losing the open fire?
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arugula

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Re: Open fire or wood burner
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2012, 10:12 »
None at all! You can still, and we do all the time, have the doors open when you're sitting around it. The added benefit is the safety aspect of running it with the doors closed when you are not present. There are also the benefits of buying one which runs central heating, but that's another, much more expensive story! :D

:)
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compostqueen

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Re: Open fire or wood burner
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2012, 10:34 »
I've always had open fires and my earliest memory of them was having a lit fire in my bedroom when I was little.  It's something I'd find hard to live without and have maintained open fires all my life; having five fireplaces at my last house  :D 

The new wood burners have air flow over the fire itself so you get a lovely waving flames, so it's still great to look at.  They also are efficient so you don't get the glass door all tarred up if you use it properly

I love mine  :)

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Trillium

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Re: Open fire or wood burner
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2012, 14:59 »
Over here, open fireplaces are a 'must have' in new house sales these days. And the happy owners quickly realize what a cold sink it turns out to be and soon have it closed up with some sort of built-in burner. Sadly, it's the way of life.

The fireplace in my house went the same way with the original owner. They installed an insert, which is as inefficient as you can get. When I can spare some money, I plan to replace the pricey clunker with a stand alone unit fitted into the existing piping. This way more heat will stay in the room since inserts don't come with flues to regulate heat loss.

The only alternatives to keeping a fireplace is to 1) hire staff to maintain the fireplaces (clean, sweep chimneys, supply and bring in wood) or 2) eat more fats that you body will hopefully burn off in the cooler rooms (and pray your heart doesn't get blocked).

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ManicMum

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Re: Open fire or wood burner
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2012, 16:26 »
We loved our open fire - even in this day & age I would never buy a house without a working fire & chimney of some sort - but realised that we were cooking our fronts and freezing our.....backs. 

They say that an open fire puts 20% of the heat into the room and the remaining 80% goes up the chimney, so had the hearth altered, the chimney lined and a multi-fuel burner put in as this is supposed to keep 80% of the heat in the house and only send 20% up the flue.

No regrets!  It lights like a dream, puts loads of heat into the house without using loads of fuel (& is not fussy about the fuel), is safe to leave when shut and nice to sit by whether shut or open, makes great toasted muffins....

We chose a burner with double doors and a make that has a spark guard available for extra safety when the doors are open (it hangs on the door hinges so has to be double doors).
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shoozie

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Re: Open fire or wood burner
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2012, 23:19 »
We have a standard open fire with a back boiler for hot water and the radiators.  We don't have an option for gas - so, it's either solid fuel or oil.

I don't know what style yours is, but ours is the only heat source in the living room, and always in winter have the front grill flap lowered to send the heat into the room (when we're in!).  We live in an old stone house, stone floors, single glazing = potential cold zone.

 If this is the style you have, and you havent tried that, give it a go and you'll feel the difference straight away.  You can still have the damper out to continue to send heat round the back boiler - if you have one.  The type of fuel also gives variations in heat output, so it's worth finding out which is best.  Much as we have lots of wood, the fire is more efficient with coal (and even that varies) or sometimes a combination of both.

Hope this helps - unless you have an entirely different fire design of course 

Ps - if anything was to change - we wouldn't miss cleaning the fire in the morning !
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 23:28 by shoozie »

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digga666

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Re: Open fire or wood burner
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2012, 08:06 »
Because of their inefficiency which is really really bad, i personally think an open fire should be illegal and can see the day soon when they will be.

I would be the last person on the planet to impose red tape and beaurocracy on peoples freedom, but i think they are so bad for the environment and in today's world we can not afford stuff like this.

Saying that they are nice to look at and poke around with especially log fires.

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arugula

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Re: Open fire or wood burner
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2012, 08:46 »
I'm glad you qualified that digga. :D Wood is one of the "greenest" forms of fuel we have. :)

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Tenhens

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Re: Open fire or wood burner
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2012, 15:21 »
We had to move (work) from a house with an open fire and we do miss it.  Our friends had a wood burner that sat in front of the chimney and I know which we prefered.

In terms of efficiency you do loose heat up the chimney although the fire place we had had a damper that you moved once the fire had warmed up and sent more heat into the room , a jetmaster I recall. We were fortunate to be able to access plenty of free wood so we were not bothered, the heat was free! It was an ideal way to get rid of junk mail!
we also rescue rabbits and guinea pigs,grow own veg

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Goldfinger

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Re: Open fire or wood burner
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2012, 18:44 »

We have a wood burner in the living room, no back boiler system in it (but wish we had got that type now), but we still have a combi for the hot water and heating when we're out to keep the house 'ticking over' until we light it.

The biggest thing we noticed was the amount of gas we cut down on using!

Even after the W/B had gone out, the residual heat 'stored' in the brickwork up around the chimney, kept the house warm until we re-lit it. This usually happends during weekdays when we come in from work.

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mrs mud

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Re: Open fire or wood burner
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2012, 15:32 »
Thanks so much for everyones thoughts  :)

I was very reluctant to lose the fire, I have wanted one all my life and we only moved here two months ago so I was heartbroken when my OH said he wants a stove.  However we are freezing cold.  We have ordered a Stovax Multifuel, (with option to have a clip on boiler at a later stage) we also have a combi oil boiler for radiators and water (no gas here) but only intend to use this the minimum amount of time due to the oil cost, which is currently using 70 a week of oil, and hardly ever on!

My OH now wants to know what sort of surround/hearth I want !!! the stove is going in front of the opening rather than inside it (the space is too small) and the opening will be blocked off and the flue pipe going out of the back of the stove into the old fireplace flue.  So basicly we will have a flat wall  :(  and no chimney on the stove, just a flat top

I'm thinking quarry tiled hearth but no idea what would look good on the wall behind the stove and I can't imagine a mantle piece would look right somehow  

Feeling a tad stressed because I didn't want to be making these types of decisions until we lived in the house for longer and the OH prefers to leave the decor matters to me :unsure:
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 17:07 by mrs mud »

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arugula

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Re: Open fire or wood burner
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2012, 18:32 »
Some people have them standing against a plain painted wall and make a feature of the flue clad in metal going up towards the ceiling or roof. It looks good! :) And yes, a tile or slate hearth.

This sort of idea:



Here is an example with a shiny flue:

« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 13:28 by argyllie »

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Goldfinger

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Re: Open fire or wood burner
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2012, 21:48 »

Mrs Mud, this is our set up, the stove's free standing with the flue out the back and away up the existing chimney...



It's the only way we could do it, but we're still way happy with it.  :D


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smud6ie

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Re: Open fire or wood burner
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2012, 10:53 »
How do you sweep the chimney?
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Sue33

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Re: Open fire or wood burner
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2012, 13:21 »

we love our open fire, we do also have central heating though so it only goes on when we're having a night in  :D



 

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