A fireplace is basically a structure to contain fire for heating. A fireplace could be used for heating a room or for cooking. Here I discuss the basics of a fireplace for heating a room and how a fireplace actually works.
A fireplace works on the principle of heat radiation. Radiant heat from the fire warms objects in the room, and not the air. This heat is also retained by the walls of the fireplace and is released gradually into the room.
Most old and traditional fireplaces are good enough at heating because of unwanted heat loss up the chimney. To cut heat loss and drafts, some contemporary fireplaces have glass doors. Additionally, they draw combustion air directly from outdoors so that the fire doesn’t draw air from the room. Some advanced models also have vents that pipe room air past the firebox so that it can be heated and then return it back into the room. Some technologically advanced and specially designed fireplaces maximize radiant heat delivery and retention.
How a Fireplace Works
A metal fabricated zero-clearance fireplace is installed in a standard wood-frame wall. A duct helps to draw fresh combustion air in from outdoors. Air inside the room is warmed as it circulates through a heat exchanger and is blown back into the room. A chimney flue carries smoke and combustion gasses up through the house and out the roof.
Hearth and facade of a fireplace may be made of brick, rock, concrete, marble, granite, tile, or non-combustible materials. Type and design of the fireplace decides location of combustible materials including wood paneling, wood flooring, or wallboard.
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