Fireplace: a stylish solution or a relic of the past?

Fireplace. What comes to your mind when you hear this simple yet homely word? Probably, country comfort: a warm house somewhere on the edge of the forest, snow outside the window, and inside - an even yellowish light from the fire and a heat that warms not only the body, but also the soul. Or maybe a fireplace - reading books in an easy chair by the burning firewood? Whatever it may seem to you, first of all it is something about life outside the city. However, in modern realities, a fireplace as a decorative object in the interior or as a real source of heating is quite common. A logical question arises - is this a justified decision or is there no place for a fireplace in an apartment of the 21st century? We will understand this issue, weighing all the pros and cons.

Of course, the fireplace is and will be an aesthetically perfect piece of furniture. The dwelling in which there is a fireplace has a completely different look, different from ordinary apartments in an urban environment: it becomes more comfortable and somehow more alive, and it will turn out to surprise guests with an unusual setting. Flames have a purely psychological effect on a person: they calm, relax, relieve stress. In the life of a city dweller, it is stress that is the predominant load, which has an extremely negative effect on health. And how beautiful are philosophical arguments about life on a carpet near a fire? The outlook on life that passes by the nose when you sit, immersed in warm thoughts about the past and the future, changes dramatically.

A fireplace is a clear sign of the status and wealth of the owners, because installing a wood-burning firebox and the fireplace itself is not a cheap pleasure. However, it immediately becomes clear to guests that people of a “prestigious life” live in this house, so the opinion about the residents of such an apartment immediately changes for the better.

It is worth saying a few words about the quality of the fireplace as an additional (or even alternative) source of heat. In the 21st century, movements to fight for an environmentally friendly future of the planet are gaining momentum - in this regard, wood heating is one of the most “tolerant” heat sources to nature. When wood is burned, carbon and oxygen compounds (in particular, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, commonly known as “carbon monoxide”) and water vapor are released into the atmosphere, which minimally harm the environment. So, thanks to natural heating, people are able not only to benefit for themselves, but also to help the common struggle for life on Earth.

And yet, every medal has a second side. The same goes for buying a fireplace.

First of all, the main disadvantage of the fireplace is the cost. Everything is expensive here: the installation of the firebox / fireplace itself, and firewood, which needs to be bought in large volumes on an ongoing basis, and maintenance. Therefore, it is not suitable for people with an average income and below - this is a pleasure for the rich.

Problems with installing a fireplace can begin as early as the initial planning stages. Getting permission to equip a fireplace in a residential high-rise building is practically unrealistic: both for physical and regulatory reasons. Even according to the rules of elementary fire safety, a fireplace can most often be prohibited from being installed in an apartment building, as it can lead to a tragedy with serious losses (both for a separate apartment and for the whole house as a whole). When installing such a heating system in a private house, one should also take into account a number of nuances: from the reinforced foundation of the house, which can withstand the weight of the fireplace and chimney, to the layout of the premises in the house itself, so that the air in it is heated evenly, and the heat generated by the fireplace does not remain in one room.

An important aspect of the fireplace to consider when making a decision is its low efficiency (coefficient of performance), which is about 20%. This means that of all the heat generated by burning wood, only one-fifth is used to heat the house. As a result, a large amount of money is spent on fuel, which could be invested in other expenses. The conclusion from all of the above in this paragraph follows one: the fireplace sharply loses its usefulness and has more of an aesthetic function than a practical one.

The last disadvantage associated with a fireplace is the need for the skill to kindle a fire and heat the stove. At first glance, it may seem that there is nothing complicated in this, but when you get acquainted with this lesson in practice, you can encounter significant difficulties. Life in the city has weaned most people from such useful skills as handling fire, so there are really few “stokers” left among the townspeople. The slightest awkwardness or imprudence - and the fire cannot be avoided. Therefore, you should be careful when installing a fireplace.

Summing up all of the above, it is healthy to come to the following conclusion: the fireplace can still live, but in exceptional cases. Rather, we can talk here about especially rich people who spend money not on vital needs, but on luxury. Fireplace heating is an expensive type of entertainment that does not have a pronounced practical value. That is why it is not reasonable to spend money on something as aesthetic as it is useless. But if you are a rich writer, author of several best-selling books with a huge fan base and a house somewhere in the forest - please, put a fireplace to your heart's content!