Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ventless Gas Fireplace

Direct ventless gas fireplaces are a perfect choice for anyone wanting to have a clean, warm fire in their home, without the hassles of having to chop wood or deal with ashes and chimney maintenance. They are becoming a more common in homes and due to this growing demand, manufactures have increased the supply and range of different models to suite anyone's needs.

The flames of a ventless fireplace can closely resemble those of a wood fireplace however they may not be suitable for a fireplace blower. Although more unnatural, blue flames burn much hotter then their yellow counterparts and can be used with fireplace blowers.

Venting Options

Due to their ease of installing a gas fireplace, they can be placed right where there used to be a brick fireplace or any existing fireplace. This will save you time and money by not having to create a new smoke pipe. However this chimney cannot be damaged and if it is in need of repair then it must be repaired prior to the installation of a new fireplace.

If a chimney is not available, then don't worry. Your second option is to install a top venting pipe or flue, similar to a chimney but less hassle when installing it. This is generally not a DIY job so get a contractor to help.

Your third option is to get a direct venting system. Basically this is a unit that you can place on any wall and allows the fireplace to take in air from the outdoors and to remove air from the fireplace. This is a safe alternative to the previous two systems as the air used for combustion is from the outside thus reducing the risk of carbon monoxide buildup.

Efficiency and Safety

Ventless gas fireplaces are very efficient and direct vent fireplaces are some of the most efficient fireplaces on the market. This is due to their ease of installation and the fact that they can be placed anywhere within a home. Also, by using a direct vent fireplace you eliminate the need for a chimney or flue and the risk of back drafts is gone. They are also perfectly sealed from the outside so that none of the air escapes through the new pipes through the walls.

Since direct vent fireplaces take and release air from the outside the risk of carbon monoxide is greatly reduced compared to a fireplace which used and released all it's combustible air form the inside. The pipes leading from the fireplace intake and outtake are lined with a fireproof paste and lather to increase efficiency and safety of the fireplace.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gel Fireplaces

Just like the Real Thing

A gel fireplace is fed by an grain-alcohol gel which typically burns for a few hours at a time. There a relatively new type of fireplace appearing on the scene. They are very efficient and home friendly and thus can be placed anywhere in a home to heat any room. There are truly a large number of reasons why people choose these types of fireplaces over others.

Since it's alcohol burning the fireplace only emits low levels of carbon dioxide, the same gas that we exhale. These levels have been monitored and proven to be negligent compared with the amount of CO2 you exhale in your home and do not pose any danger. Also there is no smoke or vapor which is emitted, allowing you to get a fireplace even if someone in your family had breathing difficulties around other fireplaces.

Another huge advantage these types of fireplaces have over others is that they can be placed anywhere in a home. They require no chimney and thus are suitable for condos and apartments whereas other fireplaces would be not allowed or even possible. Due to their light weight and lack of chimney they can also be easily moved from one place to another in the home.

The Ventless Authentic Flame Fireplace.

They do not emit heat and the only way you could access the heat that is produced would be to purchase a fireplace blower. Gel fireplaces are built for ambiance and beauty rather then to warm up a house.

How much do they cost?

Well you can get models ranging from 200$ to upwards in the thousands for higher end models. The alcohol fuel costs about 3-4$ per can and each can lasts a few hours. You can also blow out the flame to save fuel.

Case of 24 Gel Fuel Cans.

Beautiful, inexpensive, safe and portable, what else could you really need from a fireplace?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fireplace Blower

When you're sitting right beside a fireplace you feel it's warmth and it's heat. But what about the rest of your family on the other side of the room, or down the hall? Most fireplaces, as big as they get, don't efficiently heat large rooms or houses. It's for that reason why you have to get a fireplace blower. In short, a fireplace blower will warm up your house.

How do they work?

Fireplace blowers capture heat that would have been lost otherwise and distribute it around the home. Such extra heat can come from sources like heat traveling up the chimney. Some utilize a method of intaking cold air from the room and then heating that air within it's pipes so that it can then release the heated air into the room. This way eventually all of the cool air in your room would have been captured and converted into warm air, greatly increasing the heating efficiency of your fireplace.

How can they save you money?

By using air already circulating in the room the efficiency of your fireplace is greatly increased. This will allow you to reduce the amount of time required for your fireplace to heat the room your in and the amount of time it requires to be on. Generally due to energy savings the blower should pay itself off over a winter. The fireplace blower also works with non decorational fireplaces. You just attach the hoses or pipes to your fireplace and suddenly your decoration is now heating your room. They are plugged into the wall so you must have a socket nearby but use very little energy for the fans inside the blowers.

How much do they cost?

Well it depends. Some come installed with the fireplace and others are either DIY jobs or fireplace blower kits. The kits range in price from 100-500$ depending on the make and model. The models mostly come with multiple year warranties and are made from high quality, durable materials.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Outdoor Fireplace

A source of heat, comfort, a warming companion for dark nights and the center of attention in any setting.

No this isn't your spouse, it's an outdoor fireplace.

Fireplaces have gone a long way since the times of rock circles filled in with twigs in the shape of a tepee. Now you can get one in any shape or form that can be lite by any fuel available from electric to gas to natural wood. The exquisiteness of an outdoor fireplace can light up any backyard occasion.

Think about how when your camping all the action seems to happen around the fire. The effect is real and the product is available. But you have to consider some important points when purchasing or installing an outdoor fireplace. In this guide I'll show you the most important features to consider about your next fireplace.

While there are many different types of fireplaces the two major ones are fueled by either gas or wood. Gas fireplaces usually have a button or knob which will ignite the fireplace. This insures that you can always be prepared to start a fire at any time. Also there is no smoke that is produced so your guests may sit anywhere they wish.

Wood fireplaces on the other hand produce smoke and smell. They have to be maintained and take longer to start. However, you get a more authentic feel with the wood as you'll be making a fire just like your ancient ancestors once did in the woods.

The outdoor fireplaces are made from a variety of different materials. The most popular being clay, cast iron and cast aluminum. Clay is light, does not get very hot, requires very little assembly and comes in many different styles. On the downside, it's not very durable compared to it's counterparts, it wont last as long as the counterparts and due to it's composition will be effected by the weather slightly and may require more cleaning.

Cast Iron is durable and as such it'll last a very long time. But it's very heavy, requires assembly, gets very hot and the amount of models to choose from is not as extensive as clay fireplaces. Cast aluminum has the same properties as cast iron but requires less maintenance and is lighter.

As for the prices of these fireplaces, they're quite reasonable with models going from 150$ to 400$ however some more elaborate models can run you upwards in the thousands of dollars. It all depends on the style you wish.

In the end you'll be buying a object that will lighten your home, bring an ambiance of peace to your colleagues, be the center of attention and will warm you when you feel cold. You just can't lose with an outdoor fireplace!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Fireplace Design Pictures

There are very few things in life more peaceful then sitting by a calm and warming fireplace, but a poorly designed fireplace can ruin the whole setting. Many people are looking for brick fireplace designs but don't know where to get inspiration, so here is a nice list of fireplace pictures to give you an idea of what is possible in fireplace design. These images should be a nice source of ideas for your next project.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fireplace DVD

The perfect accessory for all home theater and flat-panel HDTVs! Like a window to another world, the Living Fireplace DVD transforms your TV into vibrant Yule Log fireplaces that crackle and pop! Set the mood and watch as it instantly enhances the ambience of any room decor. Ideal for everyday enjoyment or entertainment, Living Fireplace DVD adds a beautiful new dimension to your TV! Screen Dreams is the original producer and leading distributor of DVD screensavers for flat-panel HDTVs. They are changing the way TVs are used, at home and in business, by making blank TV screens beautiful with their unique DVD Screensavers.

ScreenDreams Living Fireplace DVD -SDFP2

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Painting Brick Fireplaces


Almost everyone agrees, brick fireplaces are beautiful pieces of any home. But sometimes they stand out for the wrong reasons. Many great fireplaces are left neglected by their owners and are left in a degrading state due to poor and improper care. Now while usually the state the brick fireplaces are in, require professional help to clean and fix them up. However, one of the best things anyone can do at home and with little skill or money to spruce their fireplace up is to simply paint it back into splendor.

5 Tips to Remember While Painting Fireplaces

1.) Paint thinly
  • Due to the heat being exhibited from the fireplace, the thicker your layer of paint, the more likely it is to split, blister and crack. Apply the paint lightly to create a thin layer overtop of the bricks porus surface.
2.) Scrub the bricks before painting
  • Use some sandpaper and cloth to smooth out any irregularities you find on the bricks. You can also use soapy water and clean the fireplace with a scrubbing brush but make sure to rinse the soap off once your done and let it dry. This is important to remove any paint that was applied from previous owners or times.
3.) Apply a primer
  • You can get specialized primers specifically for bricks and fireplaces. A latex primer would be a good bet as they are hardier and better suited for porus materials such as bricks then other paints. Allow the primer to dry. Usually only one thin layer is enough to get the job done.
4.) Make sure the color you choose is the color you want
  • Removing paint applied to bricks is a very difficult and potentially expensive venture and once it is removed, the bricks will never look the same again. Choose that color carefully and wisely. Painted brick fireplaces have been known to actually reduce property values due to the wear they will go under.
5.) Use a high quality primer and paint
  • Brands such as Behr and Benj may cost a bit more then the average can of paint but they do the job much better then generic brands. Also try to use a spray can rather then a roller as the roller will not infiltrate all the nooks and crannies of the brick but rather glide over the top of it. You need about a gallon of paint and primer for the average brick fireplace.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Brick Fireplace

Calming, cheering, warming and exquisite, all properties of a beautiful brick fireplace. One of the oldest and best methods of warming your house on a cold winters day, it is still the mainset of any great home and if you don't have one yet, maybe you should think about it.

Naturally ancient fireplaces were not made from brick but rather were carved from wood in stone dwellings. These crude designs sadly brought all the smoke right back into the room and the chimney was quite a later design. It wasn't until the 1700's that we started to see brick fireplaces like the ones we are used to today.

While now a days you can get a fantastic furnace that will warm up your whole living room in minutes and not cost you a bundle but it will never have the same effect a brick fireplace would. They add a setting to the room that's not available with any other piece of furniture or decoration. A brick fireplace will add warmth and a social comfort that you just can't get with anything else.

While much more costly then other options the allure of a fireplace will increase the value of your home much more then any other option then possibly central air. It brings a family together in the living room, is quiet, safe and adds a comfortable setting to the room. Another thing to note is that the majority of people looking for a home want a fireplace in their living room. Your brick fireplace will easily offset it's initial cost.

Fireplace Safety and Legality

If your planning on installing a new fireplace into your home you must contact your local officials and know your city bylaws and state/provincial laws. This is especially important if you wish to install an Outdoor Fireplace Make sure you have a certified chimney installer with plenty of experience. Also look at your state/provinces energy conservation website (almost all have one) and see if you can get a rebate by installing a certain type of fireplace as many times you can.

Now as for safety, by following these simple rules you can make your brick fireplace into one of the most safest parts of your home:

  • Have a professional chimney sweeper sweep your chimney regularly.
  • Clean out any ashes that have been deposited for a while.
  • Only burn dry clean wood.
  • Do not start your fire with any accelerant like gasoline or alcohol.
  • Keep a regularly maintained fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Make sure you have smoke detectors and their regularly maintained.
  • Keep combustibles well away from the flames or glass window.
  • If you have a glass window, make sure never to touch it as it will instantly burn you.
  • Install the fireplace away from foot traffic as to lessen the number of stubbed toes and danger from contact to the glass or flames.
  • Consider an edge guard for the base of the fireplace if you have any small children.
  • Install a gate to separate people from the glass/flames.

By following these simple tips, you'll enjoy your brick fireplace for years to come. For some examples of brick fireplaces, come see these pictures of brick fireplaces.