When you’re in the market for a fireplace, you consider several factors. The size of your room, the number of rooms that will be heated using the same furnace, the presence (or absence) of a chimney hearth, and the amount of power you’re willing to use. This last point may influence your decision on whether you want a gas, electricity, wood, or biofuel heater.
Still on the point of fuel, you might think about how easy it is (or isn’t) to source your heating fuel, as well as ease of lighting and clean-up. Environmental concerns may cross your mind as well. Interestingly, technology has made it equally easy to light all fireplaces. Even wood-burning stoves can now be lit by touching a single button.
The button creates a spark which ignites a controlled accelerant, setting your wood on fire. As far as environmental concerns, many firewood suppliers use sustainable logging techniques, season their hardwood effectively to reduce smoke and emissions, and can supply chopped wood right to your door every week if you want them to. Alternatively, you can use processed wood briquettes.
Modern wood burning fireplaces
The wood-burners themselves have heat banks designed to lower emissions by raising temperatures and ensuring a more thorough burn. This incinerates the bulk of carbon to ash, meaning there’s no unburnt carbon to form smoke and fog up the atmosphere. Safety concerns? Modern wood heaters have glass panes that keep sparks and embers contained.
So your choice between gas, wood, and electricity is one of preference. Cost may come into it – gas is the cheapest option and electricity is the most expensive for long-term fuel expenses. Biofuel produces a relatively low amount of heat, so it’s often used as a decorative furnace, supported by another fireplace to do the heavy heating work.
Aside from design and fuel type, you may wish to shop by brand. Pacific Energy is a Canadian brand of fireplaces that designs both wood-burning and gas fireplaces. They pride themselves on their green fires and utilise technology like EBT2 extended burn, porcelain steel, self-sealing ash dumps, air washes, baffles, and floating fireboxes to burn better.
Pacific gas burners
Designed for beauty and efficiency, Pacific gas fireplaces are stashed behind glare-free glass reinforced with a barely visible micro-mesh of woven stainless steel. The mesh reduces heat loss and radiating filtration. The heaters have baffles made of titanium, porcelain, and reflective glass, and heat exchangers made of aluminium. These components use heat radiation, convection, and a fan system to efficiently distribute heat and conserve energy.
Pacific gas models include the Mirage and the Esprit. The Mirage is a vertical unit available in a daring red that will pull all eyes towards it. It has a 5-speed fan, but it functions just as well when the fan is off. On colder nights, you can crank up the fan to push heat further. The Mirage creates a … mirage … of a burning wood fire because it’s loaded with artificial burning logs. They mimic a realistic bonfire that never fades to ash.
While the Mirage is a freestanding unit, the Esprit is an in-built that is slotted into the wall. Many in-built gas fireplaces sit flush against the wall, but the Esprit makes its presence felt with a beautiful protruding façade. It has a landscape orientation, and – like the Mirage – it has faux driftwood logs burning behinds its viewing glass. Its heat exchangers are made of steel for enhanced efficiency, and it’s operable by remote.
Pacific wood heaters
The selection of wood burners includes inserts and freestanding designs with names like Neo, Alderlea, Summit, Super, and Vista. Freestanding wood-burners frequently have a pot-belly-stove structure, with a single flue at the top to let out emissions. The flue can also be used to pass along heat to the rest of the house. That requires flues to be installed throughout the house by a skilled gas plumber.
Alderlea heaters have a more traditional fireplace look while Neo – likes its name – has more modern styling. Inserts are built to be fitted into existing hearths, though the chimney will be narrowed with cowls and baffles for better heating efficiency. Pacific Energy wood fires are easy to light and easy to clean, because they have an ash pan workaround for quick disposal. Some units – like the Alderlea T5 – have a cooktop and food warmers to boot!
Pacific Energy heaters are versatile, and many units are certified for safe use in tiny houses and mobile homes. All Pacific Energy heaters have above average heating outputs, good air control, and tailored burning systems that are short on emissions and long on fuel efficiency.