A hot fire doesn't have to be very large
A fire in a fireplace is especially nice when the fireplace really radiates heat without you having to build a very large fire. Thanks to the heat, you can set the thermostat on your heater a good bit lower. How do you ensure that?
Ensure a constantly good and quietly burning fire
A poorly maintained fire that keeps going out, produces a lot of smoke and then sometimes suddenly burns very hot, provides the least heat. How do you address that? Ensure a good draft in the fireplace, use properly dried wood and pay attention when building the fire. It is also best from the perspective of eco-friendliness to maintain a quietly burning fire. (Also see 10 tips to improve the draft of the chimney of the open fireplace and 10 tips for eco-friendly fireplace use).
Place a fireback against the back wall of the fireplace
A fireback increases the heat output from the fire by up to 50%, depending on the thickness and/or weight of the fireback. The fireback is made from cast iron, and that conducts the heat well. The fireback also retains heat so that there is still heat radiation after the fire is down or put out. With a thick/heavy fireback, you can still feel the heat the following morning.
Ensure that the material of the fireplace screen does not block too much heat
A wrought iron fireplace screen with mesh blocks the heat especially if the mesh of the screen is tightly woven. Of course, the mesh does need to be tightly woven enough that no sparks can pass through. Also, there are transparent fireplace screens made of glass or plastic. These materials also block the hot air from flowing into the room. As a result, a great deal of the heat escapes through the chimney.
Pay close attention to the height of the fireplace screen
It is safe for people, animals and the house to use the fireplace with a fireplace screen. But it is not always necessary to have a fireplace screen that completely closes off the front of the fireplace. When a constantly well burning, quiet fire is maintained, that does not burn too quickly and is built with properly dried wood at a height of no more than 10 cm, then a height of 50 cm is in principle sufficient for the fireplace screen. That is regardless of the height of the fireplace opening. Fireplace openings with a height of 50 cm or less thus do always have to be closed off to the top. (Also see How big should a fireplace screen be?).
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