Monday, September 26, 2011


Although it seems like fall came sooner than we had hoped, now it has officially begun!  With the changing colour of leaves, wetter weather, and that need for an extra layer of clothing or scarf, we are now required to heat our homes once again.

Whether you heat your home with a boiler, furnace, heated floors, or with solar power, a fireplace will always have that feeling of warmth simply by looking at one.

The fireplace has been the most common method of heating a home since the early days of civilization.  Although we don't use an open flame method like the cave days, today we can find an array of different fireplaces that suit any space.

If you plan on renovating your dated fireplace, here are a few general tips, thanks to Warren Middleton of Heat Savers Fireplace & Patio Co.

There are 3 types of fireplaces: 1) freestanding  2) inserts  3) zero-clearance....there is a 4) outdoor, but we will focus on indoor for now.

There are 4 sources of fuel: 1) wood  2) gas  3) electric  4) alcohol.  Today, the majority of us prefer gas, whether it be natural gas or propane over wood and electric.  Let's face it, wood fireplaces require maintenance (cleaning) and labour (carrying logs), while electric fireplaces just don't look real.

If you are installing a gas fireplace, you must must must consider how you are going to get fuel to the fireplace as well as how to get the exhaust out of the house.  Both require a pipe or vent, so during the planning stage of your renovation, it is always important to make sure they are going to work properly and efficiently with the space.  We don't want a bulkhead if it doesn't need to be there.

illustration from Regency website

Two common types of venting are with either a B-Vent (naturally drafted) or a Balanced Flue (Direct Vent).  With a B-Vent, the air necessary for combustion is drawn in from within the home.  The combustion byproduct then naturally rises up through a vent, en route to escape from the house.

illustration from Regency website

With a Balanced Flue (Direct Vent), the fireplace is completely sealed from the room.  The air necessary for combustion is drawn from outside of the building and expelled back outside through a separate compartment.  Not only is the Direct Vent applicable to an existing traditional chimney, it also has minimal fuel consumption.

According to Warren from Heat Savers Fireplace & Patio Co., inspectors can make changes to framing around a fireplace but it is ideal to follow the manufacturers information indicated with each product.  

If you have any before or after pictures of your fireplace renovations, we'd love to see them! Send us your pictures to info@jennymartindesign.com

Here are some fireplaces we are currently working on now 






At Heat Savers Fireplace & Patio Co., you will find an array of models at the showroom.  Some of the products they carry include ValorTown & CountryMarquis CollectionJotulHearthstone Euro Collection and Regency.  Go check them out for your next fireplace renovation!

Hearthstone Euro Collection
Recency Sunrise P33SE
Valor Portrait Classic 550CAP

Heat Savers Fireplace & Patio Co.
2519 Government Street

1 comment:

  1. It's unbelievable how an empty space can be transformed just by adding a fireplace.