Open fireplace

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misty44
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Open fireplace

Post: # 231482Post misty44 »

We have four fireplaces in our house. One in the kitchen, one in a front room we don't use and one each in two of the bedrooms. They haven't been used for years. How would I go about getting them back in use and what fuel would be best if I am able to use them?
I would like to never use the GSH again and can't afford solar at the moment as the roof would need completely replacing to support the panels. (joys of renovating an old house).
Misty

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Annpan
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Re: Open fireplace

Post: # 231488Post Annpan »

You'd need to start by getting your chimney's checked and swept.... then you'll probably need a grate and ashpan set-up (you may already have them?)

You are best using coal or smokeless fuel (anthracite) in my opinion, wood cracks and splatters too much for an open fire.

But be warned.... an open fire can often cause drafts that mean they actually suck heat away from the room until they are really hot, and they are only about 20% efficient at getting heat from the fuel into your room. Coal fires are also filthy and will blacken everything in the room especially if used everyday (this is where spring cleaning comes from, you really need it if you have coal fires)

I suggest you have a good look at a wood or multifuel stove which will give you much more heat and less mess.
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pelmetman
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Re: Open fireplace

Post: # 231490Post pelmetman »

Ditto the multi fuel stoves, and if you have the space I'd fit one in the kitchen first with a flat top then you can cook on it as well.
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red
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Re: Open fireplace

Post: # 231491Post red »

yes, get a woodburner if and when you have the funds.

I'd start now by getting a chimney sweep in, one that belongs to the affiliated whatever it is, and they can do a smoke test and check out the condition of the chimneys and advise you from there.

I'd burn wood, if you stick to decent wood it wont spit much, and you can get a guard for times you have to be out of the room. obviously the advantage of a woodburner is you can burn any old tat in it (within reason) we burn a lot of pallet wood - and our sweep says we are doing no harm. and free is our favourite price.
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Thomzo
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Re: Open fireplace

Post: # 231499Post Thomzo »

I'd certainly echo getting a multifuel stove if you can find one. Hunt out second hand shops and reclamation yards, look on fleabay or in the small adds. They really do chuck out a lot more heat if used properly, and you can chuck a lot more rubbish on them.

If you are new to a real fire, getting it started is a skill. Collect lots of small twigs and dry them out for a year then pile them up on top of some newspaper as kindling.

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Re: Open fireplace

Post: # 231504Post MKG »

I'm sure this is a daft question - have you checked if you live in a smokeless zone?

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Re: Open fireplace

Post: # 231506Post oldjerry »

I'd echo all the above,how many chimneys are there? You may need to line them(not as big a deal as people would have you believe).If you havent the where withall for all those woodburners,they can be made fairly easily if you can weld/know a friendly welder.

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Re: Open fireplace

Post: # 231521Post JulieSherris »

I'll echo the chill warning as well - we have a stanley range in the back room for our radiators & hot water. The 2 fireplaces in the bedrooms have been blocked up but the first winter, we used the open fire in the living room & the room was freezing, despite also having the radiator in there.

Hubby blocked this one up for last winter & we didn't use it at all - result? Much warmer! Even with single glazing :iconbiggrin:

You can also get chimney balloons to go up & block off the draughts - allegedly!
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Re: Open fireplace

Post: # 231532Post KathyLauren »

Really, really important to get the chimney swept and checked by a competent chimney sweep. Also, check with your fire department whether there has ever been a chimney fire there. If so, you want to be sure that any damage from the chimney fire has been repaired. Otherwise the chimney could be a fire hazard.

As others have said, a stove is much more efficient than an open fire. Open fires are a good way to cool off a house that is too warm!

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misty44
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Re: Open fireplace

Post: # 231693Post misty44 »

Thanks everyone for your advice. We have decided to buy a multi-fuel burner. Surprised by how cheap they are.

Misty

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Re: Open fireplace

Post: # 231829Post cocobelle »

Yes, old original fireplaces are beautiful and it's a shame not to use them. A friend of mine lives in an old apartment block in Berlin and her only source of heat it an old burner and it's so effective I couldn't believe the heat it kicked out. It looks very pretty too. Must be cheaper than having GCH?
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Re: Open fireplace

Post: # 231835Post baldybloke »

If funds permit you could always put a range or rayburn in the kitchen as well as a multifuel stove in the living room.
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Re: Open fireplace

Post: # 232068Post stevetc »

I've always wondered. . . is it more environmentally-friendly to have a single wood-burner heating a very small space with recycled (&renewable) wood (from skips). . . but releasing smoke from the chimney, or to use mains electric gas / electric from a coal-burning power station to heat a whole house?

Have no idea. . .

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Re: Open fireplace

Post: # 232125Post KathyLauren »

stevetc wrote:I've always wondered. . . is it more environmentally-friendly to have a single wood-burner heating a very small space with recycled (&renewable) wood (from skips). . . but releasing smoke from the chimney, or to use mains electric gas / electric from a coal-burning power station to heat a whole house?

Have no idea. . .
Always, renewable resources are preferable to non-renewable resources. Non-renewable fuels add CO2 to the atmosphere. Renewable fuels do too, but they also, during their growth phase, remove the same amount of CO2 from the atmosphere, something that non-renewable fuels cannot do. Wood is always preferable to coal.

As far as the smoke is concerned, make sure that the stove is a modern, efficient one, with good secondary combustion, and that you burn it hot. Since I learned the art of getting a slow, hot burn, I can keep the chimney practically smoke-free, without roasting the inside of the house. The high burn temperature ensures that the secondary combustion is burning the smoke.

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Re: Open fireplace

Post: # 232128Post frozenthunderbolt »

You can improov open fire efficiency by making a set of fire tubes: Get a machienest/fabricator to bend 6-8 HEAVY guage UNgalvanized pipes into a giant U shape so the foot sticks out the bottom of your hearth and the tops stop level with the top of the hearth.
The U's are then welded to a frame with a 1 inch spacing between each one. This way, as the fire burns they suck in cold air at the bottom of the pipe and hot air is pumped out the top back into the room instead of just going up the chiminey.
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