The sight of fireplaces can bring back sweet and nostalgic memories of families gathering around the living room when the weather is just too cold for outside activities. Fireplaces are indeed functional but most often, fireplaces are also constructed for aesthetic purposes.
People began to realize the need for fireplaces as the structure of their homes changed and they discovered that they have to heat the rooms to make them more comfortable for humans.
Fireplaces used to be made of crude materials but with the improvement of casting techniques and technology, the fireplaces became more and more sophisticated. Fireplaces need to have an insert usually made of cast iron beautified by tiles. A fireplace’s insert is that part where the fire is located. Another important element of a fireplace is the surround or the sides, which can be made of iron or even wood.
Since cast iron is the basic material used in the construction of fireplaces, it can be understood why the Industrial Revolution also paved the way for the popularity of fireplaces. The development of news method in smelting iron also made the materials used for fireplaces more affordable.
While fireplaces became popular during the Victorian era, the modern day Americans still use fireplaces, although these are now more modern, to heat their homes. Depending on one’s budget, on e can get a fireplace that is only mechanical or a more advanced one with remote controls for ventilation and thermostat levels.
A stove fireplace, commonly seen in Western films, can be situated in any area provided it can be attached to a chimney for the airing of the burned gases. This kind of fireplace uses wood or coal for fuel.
Fireplaces are further categorized depending on the type of fuel used like natural gas, coal or wood. In the olden days, fireplace owners use firewood as fuel but this type of fuel can be difficult to set fire to. Wood is the all-time favorite fireplace fuel because it is less expensive. Firewood is also available for free, for those living in areas surrounded by trees.
The pollution caused by the use of firewood to fuel fireplaces has urged London lawmakers to ban its use.
Today, most of the fireplaces are fueled by natural gas mainly because it does not cause too much pollution as compared to firewood and it is easy to ignite and to control.
Some fireplace owners however prefer using firewood because it evokes feelings of relaxation and nostalgia. This preference gave rise to manufactured woods that produce cleaner burn and are easier to ignite. Creative businessmen however tried to satisfy man’s craving for the natural effect of firewood by manufacturing a modern fireplace which has flame control. This kind of fireplace can make the flame look like a real wood.
Lucky are those who are able to enjoy the comforts offered by fireplaces, whether they may be old or sophisticated fireplaces for they offer comfort not only for the body but also for the heart.