With so many models and designs available, buying and installing a closed combustion fireplace can involve some tricky decisions. To help, we offer an overview of what’s involved.
What to consider when choosing a closed combustion fireplace
To clarify, a closed combustion fireplace is a freestanding unit with a wood-burning chamber and a glass door. Because it uses a closed system, it’s much more efficient, safe and eco-friendly than a traditional open fireplace.
There are a number of things to consider when choosing the right closed combustion fireplace for your home.
For a rough guide to choosing the correct output for your fireplace, divide the size of the room in square metres (length x width) by 10 to get ideal kilowatt amount.
If the room is well insulated, divide the room size in square metres by 13. If in doubt, consult a company that specialises in installations, such as Turbovent.
Closed combustion fireplaces are generally made from either iron or steel. Cast iron stoves tend to have longer warranty periods. They also get a lot hotter. In some cases, this makes them unsuited to smaller spaces, where they might present a hazard to nearby furniture.
Fireplaces from Europe tend to be of higher quality than those from China, but they also carry a higher price tag.
If your closed combustion fireplace of choice is imported from China, make sure it’s manufactured by a well-respected company and adheres to safety standards.
Make sure the design, size and installation of the fireplace work with your layout and lifestyle.
For example, make sure the fireplace has a removable ash tray for easy cleaning and has a chamber that’s big enough to take logs from your local wood supplier.
Where to buy your closed combustion fireplace
Most fireplace retailers have showrooms where you can view the closed combustion fireplaces they offer. You can also look at online catalogues to get an idea of what’s available in South Africa and make comparisons.
At Turbovent, we supply a range of cast iron and steel fireplaces from both Europe and China. You can view our catalogue, complete with specifications and pricing, on our website.
Below we provide an overview of some of the closed combustion fireplace we currently offer.
The Dovre Vintage is manufactured in Belgium and is made from high-grade cast iron. Its burn is exceptionally clean and it features an “Airwash” system that drives air over the glass to help keep it clean.
The Megamaster Walden has a classical design and is manufactured from cast iron in China. This fireplace has a very long lifespan and an impressive 10-year warranty. It also boasts 80% heat retention, making it exceptionally effective.
The installation process for a closed combustion fireplace
Installation of a closed combustion fireplace is relatively quick and simple. The unit comes ready to go and just needs to be connected to a chimney and mounted on the appropriate base. Here is the basic process for most closed combustion fireplaces.
- The fireplace is positioned where it is going to stand in the room. On certain flooring, wood for example, a base of steel, tile or glass is required to protect from heat damage.
- The exit point for the chimney is marked and a hole the same diameter as the chimney is cut through the ceiling or wall.
- A corresponding hole is cut in the roof, if applicable. Inside the roof, there must be no beams, piping or electrical in the way of the chimney’s path.
- The flue and chimney are then fed through the roof or wall and attached to the fireplace via the top or side, depending on the unit’s design.
- The exterior hole (roof or wall) is then sealed, waterproofed and insulated.
- There is usually a ceiling plate that goes around the chimney where it enters to the ceiling or wall from the interior. This secures the flue and finishes it off nicely.
- All that’s left is to make your first eco-friendly and fuel-efficient fire!
We recommend having your fireplace professionally installed to avoid the risk of heat or fire damage to your home. Note that self-installation could also raise questions in the event of an insurance claim.
At Turbovent, we offer professional installation of all our closed-combustion fireplaces. We also offer maintenance on all units. It’s recommended that you have your fireplace serviced and the chimney swept once a year.