Staying Toasty Warm & Looking Great

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Our Fireplace-Improvements will take you step-by-step through how we improved two fireplaces, from both a functional perspective so they produce efficient heat, and are well designed to enhance a room.

Who doesn't love a fireplace? Especially, on a chilly fall night or in the dead cold of winter, it just warms you through and through and adds incredible ambiance to a room.

We'll begin with the fireplace-improvements in our Home Theater room, our renovated basement. We live in all three floors of our home, and have intentionally focused on this particular fireplace, as heat rises throughout the other two floors due to the stack effect.

Understanding the stack effect in your own home is critical if you are striving for substantial gains in energy efficiency. We've broken the stack effect concept into plain English along with a great visual aid.

Stack Effect Illustration

The stack effect is the movement of air into and out of buildings, chimneys and flues and is driven by a difference in indoor-to-outdoor air density resulting from temperature and moisture differences.

Less dense hot air rises and is replaced by denser, cool air. The greater the thermal difference and the height of the structure, the greater the stack effect. The stack effect is also referred to as the "chimney effect" and it helps drive natural ventilation and infiltration.

We Envisioned-IT, Planned-IT, and decided that it was time for one final upgrade with this fireplace-improvement project. We decided on a Napoleon Gas Fireplace Insert, and we love the finished product. Napoleon Fireplaces has some great designs, they are well-built, and very dependable.

See their image below for the basic unit we chose, the GDI-30-G. We upgraded it with with their pewter surround, and blue glass embers for the flame bed. It is a stunning product, and the overall design works well with the stacked stone that we installed during this final renovation.

GDI30G Napoleon Rectilinear Gas Fireplace Insert

This was actually the third and final makeover for this fireplace-improvement. Originally, this unit was the typical very inefficient wood-burning fireplace.

Next was a second hand wood burning insert that worked quite well and provided ample heat. After doing substantial research and consulting with our chimney expert, we installed an ovalized eight inch stainless steel chimney liner to connect to the insert. This extremely important step improved the the efficiency substantially.

After a few years of hauling wood, gathering kindling, starting fires, maintaining fires, and cleaning up countless messes we thought there must be an even better solution. Our research continued, and this time it was all about getting even more efficient and trying to lose the mess of dealing with wood and ashes.

Remember the tax incentives a few years back for energy-saving home-improvements? We are all about burning cleaner and greener, AND lowering our tax bill, so these incentives combined with our research led us to the Summer's Heat Pellet Stove. We chose their 1500 square foot model, the 55-SHP-10. Summers Heat Pellet Stove at fireplace-improvements Can't you just feel the heat coming from that stove? We did too for many years.

This unit is one of the cleanest and greenest units on the market, it's made in Virginia and their customer service is top notch. I can't say enough good things about Summer's Heat, it served us well for many years for this level of our hearth-improvements.

The Summer's Heat unit was a definate upgrade and would almost heat the entire house on a low to medium setting. If you have decided on a pellet-stove, this unit clearly deserves your consideration.

Living Room Fireplace-Improvements

Our Living Room fireplace-improvement was next. Here's a quick "sneak preview" of this one. Stay tuned, more to come shortly.

Fireplace-Improvements with Glass Tile

Return From Fireplace-Improvements to Our Home Improvements Home


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