Heat your home stylishly and efficiently pt 1.

Published: 28 Dec 2020
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During the winter months, it is both comforting and relaxing to step out of the cold and into a warm and cosy home. There are many ways to HEAT a home and today, thanks to technology, there are more options than ever before that allow you to do it efficiently and more cost-effectively too.
A fire has become an increasingly popular option – not only does it give a room a design focus, the flickering flames evoke an emotional response that makes us feel warm, safe and cosy. And now you don’t even need a chimney…

How to choose a fireplace

If you’re looking to install a fireplace into your existing home, you will need to be guided by whether or not you have a working chimney and flue. If you do, then you have a wide choice of fireplace options from wood burning to bio-ethanol. If not, you can opt for gas if you are prepared to have a duct fitted into the wall to remove the gases. The fuss-free option is an electric or bio-ethanol fire, neither of which need a mechanism to remove smoke or gas.

Next, think about your decor. If it is modern and streamlined, then you could either go for a contrast with a traditional style fire or wood-burning stove or keep the look similar with a contemporary fireplace. If you’re starting with a blank canvas, the decision is similar – modern or traditional?

Once you’ve decided on style, you need to consider scale – choose a fire that is too large and it will overpower the room; too small and it will look unbalanced. Heat output in relation to the room is another key factor – if you want an entire room to be warm, you need sufficient heat to be generated to comfortably heat it. A fire that is too small will need to run at maximum output which will cost more, and you may not feel the benefit. On the other hand, a fireplace that is too large can make a room feel overly hot and stuffy, and if consistently running too low, will again reduce the fire’s efficiency. To discover the output you need, first work out your room measurement by multiplying its length, height and width. Multiply this figure by 0.07 and the result is the right amount of heat, in kilowatts (kW) for the room.

Check-list:

  • How large a space do you want to heat?
  • Is it open-plan, an entire house, single room, or garden area?
  • Will it be the primary source of heating?
  • What type of fuel do you intend to use?
  • Do you have a chimney or a possibility of installing one?
  • What type of fuel do you intend to use?
  • How much space can you dedicate to it?
  • Would you prefer freestanding or insert?

Fireplace installation

Once you’ve chosen your fireplace, you need to consider its installation. ‘Can it be done by yourself – some of the more modern ones can be done this way, or does it require professionals to complete the installation,’ advises Marlon Attard from Fireplace Malta. ‘Also, it is always advisable to get familiar with the workings of your fireplace by reading all the user manuals as well as taking the advice of the those who have sold you the fireplace and those installing it, if you use professionals.’

‘The most important contributor for ongoing peace of mind is proper and regular maintenance. Maintaining a fireplace is as important as maintaining anything else in your home, and by knowing what needs to be checked, cleaned, and inspected, you can prolong the lifespan of your fireplace while prioritising safety for your family and home.’

FIREPLACE OPTIONS

Today, any home can enjoy the ambience of flickering flames…

Wood fires

Real fires and wood-burners are the first choice for those for whom the crackle of a fire and the scent of wood are an important part of the experience.

The Born is a triangle-shaped, central freestanding stove; the three sides each offer a great view of the fire, make it incredibly transparent with modern, up-to-date, simple lines. From Spanish manufacturer Rocal, it combines cutting edge design with the latest technology to achieve optimum performance and a minimum emission of gases to the environment. Tekno Airconditioning

Nestor Martin´s patented Woodbox combustion technology uses a combination of natural chimney draft and preheated air, driven slowly and evenly towards the flame resulting in stunning flame effects, ranging from huge flames to an afterburning fire of all colours dancing over the logs. With the minimum of supervision, they burn more efficiently making them as environmentally friendly. Fireplace Malta

Pellet stoves

Pellet stoves and inserts are clean, easy to use and care for, and produce heat efficiently. ‘They are 70 percent cheaper to run versus wood logs and are more powerful than log burners,’ says Luca Falda from Pellet Stoves. Pellets are created from the waste of wood processing and when burned, give off almost no smoke, making them cleaner than wood. ‘They produce so little ash, you may need to empty the built-in container only once or twice a week.’ Turn them on at the push of a button and they are remotely programmable too.

Ravelli The R-Evolution 9V wood pellet stove, with its stylish circular shape, is ideal for medium to large sized rooms up to 215mt³. A Ventilated Convection Stove, it combines the advantages of forced ventilation and natural convection with the option to switch off the fan for silent operation: two methods of heating in a single stove. It is fully adjustable for time and temperature and available with steel or ceramic side covers and has solid cast iron door and top. The stove’s 22Kg internal hopper means it can run for up to 30 hours from a fill of pellets. In addition, thanks to the new burner, the pellet stove has a more natural flame which is almost impossible to distinguish from a wood stove. Cleaning is simplified thanks to a self-cleaning burner which empties automatically into the ash pan which only needs to be emptied after every 100Kg of pellets burnt. Meli Bugeja Trading

Duroflame A range of elegant pellet stoves that resemble wood burners from Dutch brand Duroflame. Powerful but quiet, with a control panel hidden in the hopper and programmable thermostat. Tekno Airconditioning

Gaia pellet stove – A best-seller, this stove is crafted in Treviso by manufacturers Phebo Stufe, from the mechanics to the handmade ceramic shell. The unique corner shape fits snugly near TVs or in dining rooms and is guaranteed to heat large spaces, with a huge 14 kW heat output. Pellet Stoves

Fenice pellet stove – An ideal fit for tight spaces – it’s less than a foot deep and still packs a solid 9 kW of heating power, while running on about 20 cents’ worth of wood pellets per hour. Pellet Stoves

Gas fireplaces

With the flip of a switch, turn on a gas fireplace for a realistic and cosy fire but without logs, smoke and fumes. Modern gas fireplaces burn with up to 90 percent efficiency so there is practically no pollution and they are not expensive to run. ‘Gas fireplaces are a popular choice for new homeowners for a simple reason: convenience,’ says Marlon Attard from Fireplace Malta. ‘They are easy to maintain, you do not need to clean up wood chips and ash, and have no residual odour while being highly customisable and often can be made to measure to accommodate any project.’ You do need to allow the fumes that are created to escape so a chimney or a flue integrated into the wall is needed.

Monroe gas fireplace – Imagine a natural campfire behind glass and you have Planika’s gas fireplace with its beautiful three-dimensional flame that gently blazes from beneath the logs. But it’s not just a decoration – a room can be heated up by the warm air discharged from the furnace through two concentrating additional pipes. As well, the fireplace is equipped with advanced monitoring sensors, a remote control module and multiple computer-assisted features, for safe and fully controlled flames; it will turn off automatically when a dysfunction is detected. It also offers advance fuel efficiency features (Eco Flow mode, Modular Division) and allows for two fuel options (Natural Gas/LPG). To reduce gas consumption by up to 50 per cent, you can regulate the flame height over time or turn off a section of the fireplace, Different glazing options available include single, double and three-sided. Fireplace Malta
Element 4 – A range of design-led gas fireplaces known for their simplicity and elegance that also benefit from the most advanced technical features – the fireplaces are efficient to use, can be operated remotely and have an adjustable flame picture. Tekno Airconditioning

Electric fireplace

As with a gas fire, an electric fire is also controlled by the flick of a switch. With no need for a chimney, it just needs to be plugged in and it does not produce any carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide. Choose from an inset which needs a wall cavity or, wall mounted, a contemporary-style fire that hangs on the wall.

Astro electric fireplace Cutting-edge LED 3D technology by Planika creates realistic flames for a fire that feels warm and cosy. It offers multiple arrangements with three different mounting options – simply hang it on the wall using the brackets included, or have it fully or partially recessed. As well, special back panels diffuse the light to create an illusion of an authentic fire and logs are included for a natural look if preferred. It features four flame colours and light-diffusing stones to create a multi-colour display with an ambience of choice and preference. A powerful 3000W airflow heater provides good heat and it’s easy to operate with a remote control as well as a wall switch. Suitable for use both inside and outside. Fireplace Malta

Evonic Empire 2 – An exciting, new wall-mounted electric fireplace suite that comes in a variety of sizes and which is ideal for homes without a chimney. It features the award-winning Evoflame® LED flame effect technology for a truly realistic look of a deep and rich flame with a hot ash effect fuel bed. The perfect choice for the modern home, it can be customised via unit colour, the decorative grey or beige ceramic tile wing, woodland log bed and feature side LED lighting. It can also be used with or without the heat function. Sunsource

Evonic Linnea – This stunning panoramic LED electric fireplace is a stunning centrepiece that pairs elegant design with state of the art technology. With no need for chimneys or flues, it can be placed anywhere in the room and simply plugged in. Available in a variety of sizes from 50cm to 240cm, it can be three-sided or two corner sided. The latest LED flame effect comes with six pre-set animations or use the HALO technology to create your own look. Download the e-smart app for total control (including voice control) from adjustable LED brightness to temperature control. A seven day programmer is included. Sunsource

Bio-Ethanol Fires

The game-changer in fireplace technology has been the introduction of bio-ethanol, an eco-friendly fuel extracted from plants, the only by-products released during burning being water vapour, carbon dioxide (the equivalent of a candle burning) and heat. With no smoke or ash, the bio-ethanol fireplace has no need for a flue or chimney and also has no need to be plugged in, allowing a fire to be installed into any room or building as long as there is ventilation. And with no need to be plugged in, the the joy of dancing flames is available to everyone…

FLA 3+ ethanol fireplace – Planika is the leading manufacturer of intelligent bio fireplaces on the market and its patented BEV Technology ensures the cleanest possible burning process without any smoke, smell, or ash while giving unlimited arrangement possibilities along with an extremely safe fire. The applied technology is fully automated, and an advanced microprocessor monitors and controls the fireplace, ensuring proper and safe functioning of the device with an even and continuous flame. Its Automatic Refill System ensures no direct contact between the fire and the bioethanol in liquid state makes re-fueling safe, easy and efficient and with an extra-large fuel tank, Planika’s FLA3+ guarantees a long burning time from one refill without losing any of the style and luxury for which Planika is known. Available in 6 different casings. Fireplace Malta

Outdoor FireTable

Keep the alfresco lifestyle going even when the weather starts to turn chilly.

Outdoor fire tableBull Europe’s signature fire feature is the multi-purpose fire table that is essentially a dining table with a fire pit in the middle that you can use for teppanyaki-style grilling with the added feature of a lava rock griddle. Other than the benefits of having this warmth feature in your outdoor living area you can also make use of this in hotter months as it can simply slide away to be replaced by an ice chest complete with drain and umbrella hole. Bull Europe

Outdoor fire place with water feature – Bull’s fire feature is a great way to add warmth as well as add a focal point to any outdoor space. You can find the perfect fire feature tailored to any outdoor space, completely customised to your liking. The fire feature provides both heat and ambience with an adjustable flame that quickly ignites. Fire is not the only natural element the fire features provides as in the latest model, a water feature is incorporated behind the fire pit, to create the relaxing sound of water streaming down the wall. The above image features a galvanized metal section structure, clad with a fibre cement board which is fire retardant, damp and waterproof and is highly finished with silk beige polished gres and a slate wall where the water streams down. Bull Europe
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