Fireplaces in the country house. Classification
The owners of country houses have an advantage over the owners of city apartments: the opportunity to install a real fireplace. There are a lot of techniques for decorating fireplaces. We will try to describe some of them and give practical recommendations on their implementation.
WHERE TO START?
Ideally, a real fireplace is planned even at the design stage of the house itself. Then it is possible to take into account all the rules of its installation and use, dictated not only by aesthetics, but also by considerations of functionality and safety. And also it is possible to choose the type of fireplace that you like the most or suits financially. To build a fireplace in an existing house is much more difficult, here you can not do without modifications. In this article, we will not dwell on the nuances of design, we will consider only the features of fireplaces depending on the location in the house.
Most often, fireplaces are installed by the wall. But there are also other options.
- Island designs are suitable for large halls, especially if they are circular in shape. Because of the visual accessibility from all sides they look especially spectacular. The heat from the fire spreads throughout the room evenly.
- For heating adjacent rooms is suitable built into the wall fireplace. It perfectly saves space.
- Double-sided fireplace is rare. It performs more of a decorative function than heats the room. The through fireplace does not have a sloping wall to supply heat to the room, and much of the heat energy simply flies into the chimney. A double-sided fireplace can be placed in the middle or side of a room, built into a wall between two rooms, or adjacent to a wall end.
- A wall fireplace can be either fronted or placed in a corner.
The choice of type is based on the laws of physics and architectural features of the house. So, fireplaces do not place on a draught, because the movement of air masses makes it difficult to draft. Smoke will enter the room from the chimney. Any heavy design provides for a reinforced base. Put a fireplace on the first floor - strengthen the foundation. Installation on the upper floors of the house is performed only after calculating the load on the interfloor floors. Yes, there are many rules and regulations, and it is important to know and follow them - for your own safety. There is an international standard for safe installation and operation of fireplaces - DTU, as well as numerous standards on the installation of fireplaces and chimneys.
WHICH FIREPLACE TO CHOOSE: WITH OR WITHOUT A CHIMNEY?
The answer to this question will depend primarily on the functionality of the fireplace. That is to decide for yourself at once: will the fireplace will play a role exclusively aesthetic element of the furnishings or it will be tasked with additional heating of the room. So, heat and release into the air products of combustion (and therefore need their removal) wood (coal, on briquettes) and gas (including gas infrared) fireplaces.
If you need such a design, first assess the possibilities for its arrangement. If the house is just being built, the chimney is included in the project based on the selection of a suitable location for the fireplace for all parameters. Installing a fireplace requires preparation of the supporting base, and installation of the chimney - the selection of material, the exact calculation of dimensions and weight. In addition, for wood-burning fireplaces necessarily provide a channel of air into the room.
In an already completed house, the issue of organizing a fireplace with a chimney can only deal with a specialist. To do this, the design of the house is carefully studied, then the necessary changes are implemented.
Fireplaces that do not require a chimney, today presented in a large range. There are three main types:
- tiled stove;
- electric fireplace;
- a bio-fuel fireplace.
Electric devices can heat rooms, but only very small ones. To increase the efficiency, special convection channels are built for the movement of heated air. If there is no possibility to put a gas or wood fireplace, an electric fireplace can suit you.
Tiled stoves are equipped with electric or water heaters. Inside the tiled stove, there is an electric fireplace or water circuit. Tile increases the efficiency of heating by storing heat. But still it - not quite a fireplace, besides the cost of such structures is very expensive.
Bio fireplaces are the most modern kind of chimneyless designs. Although the fire in them is "live", it is the result of combustion of a special fuel - bioethanol, which gives little heat and is absolutely harmless to humans. Such fireplaces serve more as a decoration.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO HEAT THE WHOLE HOUSE WITH A FIREPLACE?
If you decide to put a fireplace for heating, it is better to choose a model with a closed firebox. The fact is that the open firebox - the reason for the extremely low efficiency (about 20%). Fireplaces with a closed firebox have a much higher efficiency - up to 70%. You can change the characteristics of a fireplace with an open firebox by installing a special insert. In fact, it is a closed furnace for afterburning stove gases.
As for the full-fledged heating at the expense of the fireplace, it is possible if the house is small. However, it should be taken into account: a wood fireplace will have to be stoked constantly, otherwise the heat supply will be unstable. Of course, you can improve the fireplace, but in the end you will have a conventional stove - tested by many craftsmen through experience. In addition, take into account that:
- for 4 square meters of heated space should have 7 kW of power of the fireplace;
- for each kW of power there should be 10 cubic meters of air per hour (it should come through the ducts);
- the room where the fireplace will be installed for heating must be at least 40 cubic meters in volume;
- fireplace, "tied" to the heating system, it will be impossible to ignite in the summer!
There are two proven options for creating a heating system with a fireplace.
- Connecting the fireplace to a water loop.
- Connecting to an air loop.
The air loop is formed by a system of metal (aluminum or steel) pipes running through the house in the walls or floors. The option is designed for 2-3 rooms, needs a forced air turnover by means of a pump.
To install a water loop, you will need a special fireplace with a two-layer furnace (water jacket). Heated water circulates between the layers, its temperature can be adjusted manually or by automatic thermostats with a pump. Water flows into the pipeline and radiators by gravity or with a small pump (the system is more expensive).
Note that the efficiency of fireplaces with a water loop still does not reach the efficiency of a conventional heating boiler. Therefore, in cold regions, it is better not to hope for such an option. Or use only in a very well insulated house.
In addition, professional builders talk about the possibility of creating a warm floor system on the basis of the fireplace, but so far such projects have been created a little, and we can not give exact data on their effectiveness.
Pros and cons of heating with a solid fuel fireplace
First about the pros:
- in modern fireplaces you can burn wood, coal or pellets to choose from;
- beautiful appearance;
- heating does not depend on electricity (water circuit).
Now the cons:
- the cost of fireplaces with a water loop is slightly higher than solid fuel boilers;
- the air circuit will not heat a large house;
- not too high efficiency compared to conventional heating boilers;
- fireplace to keep under constant supervision, to add fuel at least 2-3 times a day.
PROS AND CONS OF THE GAS FIREPLACE
- Gas fireplaces are smaller and lighter, don't require as serious a foundation as solid fuel fireplaces;
- the price is lower;
- there is no soot and smoke inherent in wood-burning models.
- A gas line connection is needed, as well as a permit from the gas department, which is not cheap.
PROS AND CONS OF ELECTRIC FIREPLACES
- The fire in the fireplace is very similar to a real fireplace;
- unpretentious, light weight;
- no noise;
- no need to prepare wood or coal;/li>
- you do not need a chimney;
- heating can be regulated.
- Are not suitable for large rooms;
- Consume a lot of energy - unsustainable for heating;
- dry the air.
PROS AND CONS OF BIOFIRES
- Mobility, ease of installation;
- safety, easy maintenance;
- do not emit harmful substances into the air;
- do not require a chimney.
Cons: Biofuel fireplaces are not capable of full heating; they are used as an additional source of heat and as interior decoration.
HANGING AND WALL-MOUNTED FIREPLACE
For us, the suspended - a relatively new type of fireplace, although in the West it is known since the 60s of the last century. It is also called "floating", because it literally hangs in the air. It is made of steel, sometimes - of cast iron or stainless steel. It has a different shape and is usually small in size. Hanging fireplaces are convenient because they can be placed anywhere in the room, weigh little, work on different fuels and create a special aura around them. They are not suitable for heating.
Wall-mounted electric fireplaces consume less energy than floor-mounted ones. Many models are equipped with remote controls. Some work on the principle of infrared radiation. Despite the fact that manufacturers claim 100% efficiency of such devices, the power of wall-mounted fireplaces does not exceed 2.5 kW. It is clear that for heating a large room, this is very little. So the wall fireplace performs more of an aesthetic function.
HOW TO CALCULATE THE POWER OF THE FIREPLACE?
Heat output is the most important quality that is evaluated in fireplaces. It depends not only on the type of fuel, but also on the type of fireplace firebox, and the material from which it is made. Finished boilers are accompanied by the manufacturer's documents, in which the capacity of the device is indicated. It is measured in kW, and specified for different modes of operation: from average to maximum (peak). In this case, in addition to power necessarily takes into account the heat output of the material of the fireplace. So, steel heats up quickly, but just as quickly cools down. Cast-iron firebox, and even tiled, will be much better to heat the room. The area of heating of a particular model is calculated approximately as follows:
- The average power of the fireplace is multiplied by 10, if the ceiling in the room is not higher than 2.5 meters. If the ceiling is higher, use special calculations on the volume. They can be found in specialized literature or on thematic resources.
IS IT WORTH HEATING THE HOUSE WITH A FIREPLACE?
Many experienced builders do not advise putting a fireplace as the main heating, albeit with an air or water system. The reasons are as follows.
Fireplaces last much less than solid fuel and gas boilers, excluding fireplaces with a cast iron firebox. Solid fuel fireplaces are not self-contained, cannot be left unattended, and are more dangerous to operate than traditional boilers. Fuel consumption over the winter will be very high - up to 12 cubes of wood. Make a competent scheme of heating with a fireplace is quite difficult - only an experienced engineer can cope with this. With regard to material costs, they will be higher than the cost of traditional heating - because of the cost of fireplaces, materials for their safe installation. However, if you calculate the cost of installation of a fireplace and a separate heating boiler, heating with one fireplace, of course, will be cheaper.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE DESIGN?
A fireplace is a set of several components: cladding, firebox and chimney. As for the chimney and firebox, they carry functional load. The trim is the element responsible for the overall appearance of the fireplace. It is her stylistic design to choose.
- Country. This style embodied the idea of home comfort and differs in the simplicity of lines. Portals in such designs have a shape of the letter "D", the fireplaces look massive, so it is better to fit into spacious rooms. Country style involves the use of wood, but the fireplace can also be stoked by gas. Facing includes artificially aged brick, shells, sandstone, in the construction use massive wooden beams.
- Chalet is a romantic style, a little rough and also simple. Materials are taken natural, mostly stone. Externally, the chalet style fireplace looks like a simple stone stove.
- Provence is a style full of naturalness and peace. Facing is made of ceramic or natural stone in light shades, like antiques. The furnace is open, trimmed with wrought iron lattices.
- Ampire, baroque and other classic styles are characterized by carved elements, engraving, natural marble and semi-precious stones. Venetian plaster and stucco may be present. An important condition is a room with a high ceiling and good lighting.
- For rooms in the English style, a fireplace is a mandatory attribute. As a rule, it is located in the center of the room, and all the furniture in it is placed in the direction of the fireplace. The design is U-shaped, with straight corners and lines, without intricate decorative elements, with a small firebox and portal, there are elements of forging, decorative tiles. Classic shades - wood, white, beige.
- Baroque is a style filled with luxury and excess. Asymmetry and finishes which give pomp and even pompousness are acceptable: forging, natural or artificial marble. It implies a large space.
- The Scandinavian style is the most laconic and moderate. It is created in clear geometric shapes of stone, metal and wood, the fireplace of cold shades and with a smooth surface.
- Russian style is more familiar and understandable to us than others. Facing with tiles is a tribute to the centuries-old traditions of Russian art. Such a fireplace - the central place in the house, and complemented by numerous decorative elements: lace napkins, samovar and others. The fireplace in the form of a Russian stove is distinguished by the white color of the portal of the arched type and the support under the ceiling. Facing can be made of clinker under the furnace (under the brick), majolica, the fireplace can be decorated with paintings.
METHODS OF COMBINING A FIREPLACE WITH INTERIOR
Fireplaces in the classical style are combined with massive columns and furniture, heavy portieres of velvet and crystal chandeliers. The fireplace itself can be decorated with statues of lions, sphinxes, and gilding. Above the fireplace are stone shelves, above the fireplace are panels or stained-glass windows. The area with a fireplace is illuminated by wall sconces.
Wooden furniture, natural fabrics, and a collection of weapons on the walls are an ideal complement to the country style. The chimney of the fireplace is decorated with wooden panels, which can be painted in warm shades.
Scandinavian interior style with a fireplace is quite cold, it is better to dilute it with bright "spots" - accessories. The design itself is not burdened with a large amount of furniture, it should not be heavy. The windows of the room are large and bright, the fireplace is located more often in a corner. The ceiling is plastered and whitewashed, sometimes there are wooden beams, and the wall above the fireplace is tiled with gray stone.
Modern interiors are complemented by fireplaces in a minimalist style - in a strict design, without decor. It is closed by a false panel, behind which the chimney is completely hidden, is lined with ceramic or stone tiles. The colors are as neutral as possible.
All the techniques and styles we have listed are basic, in fact, there are many more. Choose the right style of fireplace for your interior will help an experienced designer.