The grate debate: Fireplace or stove?
IN THE frost and snow of winter, nothing beats the traditional cosiness of a roaring log fire, be it in a fireplace or stove. Although radiators and underfloor heating can be very efficient, they simply don’t have the atmosphere-building qualities of crackling logs and flickering flames. But should it be a fireplace or a stove?
There can be no doubt that an elegant fireplace makes an attractive focal point year-round, whether you opt for an ornate, antique chimneypiece or a clean-lined contemporary design. A fireplace is always going to be the central feature of a sitting room, adding character and balance to the interior design, not forgetting that the warmth, smell and glow of an open fire will emphasise its role as the heart of the home.
However, although the age-old pleasure of an open fire may be unbeatable, it isn’t an efficient method of heating, as the uncontrolled airflow draws centrally heated air from the rest of the house up the chimney at the same time as hot air from the fire.
A stove, on the other hand, may create a less formal focal point than a grand fireplace, but some prefer it for its relaxed appeal, even for a touch of that now infamous cosy Danish hygge, thanks to the stove’s ability to deliver radiant heat with significantly higher efficiency than an open fire. The latest clean-burn technologies in woodburning stoves combine efficiency with minimal emissions, making them much better for the environment.
The ideal solution? One of each— an open fire for formal entertaining and a hardworking stove for everyday living.