It may only be the end of August, but here in New England it’s the time of year for making sure firewood is stacked for battling cold November rain and subsequent winter’s chill. Having the warming glow of a fire in a log home is one of those ubiquitous concepts that everyone seems to agree helps to make cold weather seem less menacing. What is not universally agreed upon though is what kind of fixture is best for making a log home feel more cozy. Does a roaring, open, wood-burning fireplace feel the best? Or does a wood stove put off the best heat and the best vibes? Here are some examples of different uses and different styles of fire fixtures for log homes.
This beautiful stone fireplace in this custom log home great room shows off a decorative fireplace screen. The stone is a real stone veneer with thinly sliced pieces. The color is a lovely sand toned stone that blends well with the wood color of the logs. While the look is warm and inviting, it should be noted that an open wood burning fireplace, like this one above, does not heat the room as efficiently as other methods. It is estimated that even the most efficient design of this type of fireplace (a Rumford fireplace) can only reach slightly more than 15% efficiency. (See the Consumer Energy Center's article on fireplaces and wood stoves)
This wood stove shows that log home great rooms aren't the only place to have a fire. The kitchen is also a great place to keep warm and cozy. A benefit of placing a wood stove, like this one above, in a log home kitchen is that it provides an extra surface for heating tea kettles or stew pots. A modern wood stove also provides a more efficient source of heat. The best wood stoves on the market today can reach efficiency levels of 75%. Some modern wood stoves even have catalytic converters to improve performance. For tips on installing and using a catalytic wood stove visit this helpful site at hearth.com.
This wood burning insert provides a sort of middle ground between an open wood burning fireplace, and a wood stove. The large glass doors allow the log home owners to enjoy the look of the warm flames, and the insert provides for better efficiency than an open fireplace. According to Alternative-Heating-Info.com, new EPA certified wood fireplace inserts are rated 75% efficient and provide the added benefit of reducing emissions to almost zero. (Read the posting here.) The home above also takes advantage of the insert, and stone fireplace to provide a room division between the dining room and great room. It's a great idea to throw heat into two rooms, and essentially you get more bang for your buck when you can enjoy the warmth and looks from two different living spaces.
This final example shows a gas burning insert which is also used as a room divider. This one happens to divide the master bedroom from the master bathroom. We particularly like this idea, as we can't think of many things more cozy than enjoying a fire while also enjoying a soak in the bathtub. So no matter how you light your fire, we hope you'll stay warm and cozy this upcoming Fall and Winter. Be sure to vote for your favorite fire fixture in our poll on the right hand side of this blog. May the best flame win.