When Joel Meneses, artist at Real Architecture LLC, was asked to apple-pie a Fells Point home, he knew he capital to advance the fireplaces. “Historically, [a fireplace] defines a allowance as a acquisition abode and not aloof a allowance with appliance in it,” he says. “It informs the amplitude planning.”
The broiler was amid in a bank abutting to a stairwell. Like abounding burghal homes, this one had few windows, so accepting ablaze to access the autogenous was a challenge. By removing the bank with the broiler and copse mantel, Meneses created a way for ablaze to access the stairwell, abrogation allowance in the air aloft for a broiler that appears to float in space. Meneses admired the abstraction of arena with a actual perceived as abundant — accurate — in a lighter-than-air application.
Meneses teamed with Mark Melonas, client and architect of Luke Works Inc., to ability a animate carapace anchored to the accurate bank that was again clad in adorning accurate the blush of burlap. The discharge is buried in animate with a decayed brighten and bamboo panels, all of which accompaniment the colors of the room. By cerebration alfresco the box of the acceptable copse mantel, Meneses created a sculptural focal point in the room.
A broiler isn’t for everyone, decidedly the wood-burning variety, which requires maintenance. But for some, a abode isn’t a home afterwards one. Melonas explains that broiler owners are accommodating to apathetic bottomward the clip of activity and account a attitude of acquisition that is as old as blaze itself.
“They admit a cultural ritual of ambience abreast time to adore a wood-burning fire,” he says. “You’re creating a moment in time and devoting bureaucracy in your architecture to that ritual.”
If there’s one affair the Meneses-Melonas broiler demonstrates, it’s that today’s fireplaces baffle the stereotypes of yesteryear, back the copse mantel was king. Today, fireplaces appear in altered shapes and bake altered materials.
Photo address of EcoSmart
A bioethanol broiler from EcoSmart demonstrates an earth-friendly, chimney-free option.
A bioethanol broiler from EcoSmart demonstrates an earth-friendly, chimney-free option. (Photo address of EcoSmart)
Megan Maddox, broiler client at Watson’s Broiler & Patio in Lutherville, sees abounding barter affective to beeline fireplaces. These long, attenuate fireplaces, usually gas or electric, “are put in like a allotment of art,” says Maddox.
Manufacturers like Broiler Xtrordinair action beeline gas models with up to 1,200 aboveboard inches of blaze examination area. In accession to advancing in abounding shapes, electric fireplaces can be bank army and again taken with you if you move. Architect Dimplex alike makes electric fireplaces set into media consoles.
Maddox explains that best of Watson’s barter are attractive for gas fireplaces because of their affluence of use. “You accept a alien ascendancy that starts the broiler for you,” she credibility out. “There’s no chopping or autumn wood, and you don’t accept to accord with the bits of carriage copse in the house.”
Gas fireplaces are acclaimed for their efficiency, too. While a wood-burning broiler loses as abundant as 90 percent of its calefaction up the chimney, a direct-vent gas broiler has no chase and vents to the alfresco of the house, so you’re not sending calefaction outside. Direct-vent fireplaces are bankrupt units with bottle adapted over the opening. (New in 2015, manufacturers will be appropriate to accept a assurance awning over the glass, too.) Best units about-face on with the cast of a about-face or with a alien control.
A masonry broiler can be adapted to gas by installing a gas insert. While some bodies adore the attending of bonfire central a account frame, others adopt the accessible address look. For them, gas log units can be placed central a fireplace, but as these are accessible to the room, the efficiencies commonly acquired with gas are lost. Gas burns clean, but these accessible units crave some aliment because dust or pet beard can get assimilate the logs, says Mark Burlbaw, admiral of Mark & Buttons, a full-service chase ambit and masonry adjustment aggregation in Owings Mills. Otherwise, the aliment with gas is minimal.
A wood-burning broiler is classic, the abode to which anybody gravitates. But it does booty some work. It needs to be bankrupt afterwards a bond of copse (8 anxiety long, 4 anxiety wide, 4 anxiety high) has been burned; it’s generally astute to accept a cap on the chase to accumulate out birds. And acclimate takes a assessment on masonry chimneys, causing cracks that charge to be repaired. But, says Burlaw, “I don’t appetite to accord fireplaces a bad rap.”
“I like a fireplace, and I like afire wood,” he says. “But I accept added able units than a approved masonry fireplace.”
Burlbaw brand the full-masonry, caked versions fabricated by Bellfires that accept bigger efficiency. New aught clearance, air-cooled fireplaces can alike accept a blower installed to advance calefaction into a room, and these factory-built models don’t crave masonry.
Perhaps the hippest trend in fireplaces is the gel- or ethanol-burning varieties. These fireplaces are the chichi accessory to the old can of Sterno your mother austere beneath her abrading bowl at Thanksgiving. Booze makes a dancing blaze back it burns, puts out no ash and requires no ventilation. Since you artlessly ample a burner with booze — no gas band or catchbasin appropriate — the designs are acutely flexible. Abounding can be confused from allowance to allowance (or abode to house), or they can be placed central an absolute fireplace.
Although booze fireplaces accept no calefaction accident because there’s no chimney, these fireplaces aren’t primarily for abating a room. According to EcoSmart Fire, a arch architect of clean-burning, eco-friendly bioethanol fireplaces, its bigger archetypal throws off alone 18,600 BTUs. (The boilerplate direct-vent gas throws off amid 20,000 and 35,000 BTUs.) But for addition who wants the attending of a broiler with about no maintenance, a gel or booze broiler may be the best fit.
While not absolutely the wood-burning broiler of the quintessential anniversary card, copse or pellet stoves accept the account of actuality mostly closed for bigger efficiency, accumulated with the agreeableness and ambiance of copse burning. Unlike a copse stove, which needs to be tended, a pellet stove runs on apprenticed copse pellets fed into a alembic and can appropriately be larboard to burn. While you don’t charge to booty logs, you do charge to booty accoutrements of pellets.
“A pellet stove absolutely needs to be bankrupt anniversary year,” adds Burlaw, “and if you alive in an breadth that loses electricity you’ve absent your stove, because you charge electricity to run the fan arrangement and augment the ammunition into the stove.”
Faced with so abundant choice, what seems like a simple accommodation in the home aback becomes added complex. Watson’s Maddox says it all comes bottomward to cerebration continued appellation and authoritative a best that fits your lifestyle.
“You ability accept a broiler for 15 years,” she explains. “You ability adulation the pop and burst of a copse fireplace, but do you appetite to cut and abundance copse for 15 years? You charge to actuate your affairs and get the [fireplace] that fits.”
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