The grate de­bate: Fire­place or stove?

Country Life Every Week - - Interiors Insight Fireplaces -

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.

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