Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rumford Fireplaces

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For many of us, there is nothing that compares to gathering around a warm crackling fire.  In our fast paced world, kicking back and relaxing while spending an evening with your favorite someone or with a group of friends or family is something to be savored and enjoyed.   Fire is something that just stirs the soul and evokes a feeling of contentment.  Whether you enjoy fiddling and poking at your fire, watching the flames dance or just warming your backside, there is just no replacement for a good wood burning fireplace.  For many, the best way to enjoy a fire is with an outdoor bonfire.  Here you can see everything from the glowing coals to the tips of the flame as everyone gathers around the fire to enjoy its warmth.  As architects, it is important to be able to bring your fire indoors or in a sheltered outdoor area.  For this, we need a fireplace.  At Steven Dona Architecture we often suggest a Rumford style fireplace for our clients who want to incorporate a wood burning fireplace in their design.  This style of fireplace was first developed by Benjamin Rumford in 1795.  Yes, 1795!  The often forgotten art of a truly great fireplace is still possible. In addition, this type of fireplace burns much hotter and is one of a select few open fireplace designs that meet the EPA standards for clean burning fireplaces.  Some parts of the country restrict any type of new open fireplace so you will need to check with your local building official to see if they have restrictions that exceed the EPA standards.

But how does this all look and feel?   A Rumford style fireplace is tall and shallow.  The opening is almost square.  Because of this, you can see the whole fire, like a bonfire, from the coals to the tips of the flame.  In addition a Rumford style of fireplace takes advantage of the radiant heat from a fire.  So your fire is instantly warm, without a long wait to heat up a thermal mass such as the chimney.  It doesn’t use or need fans to blow warm heat out of the fireplace either. 

This type of fireplace is a perfect centerpiece for your home. It provides a great place to gather around and enjoy the company of your best friends, surrounded by the warmth, sounds and smells of a crackling fire.

For further reference make sure you visit Jim Buckley's great Rumford fireplace website at:

Jim has been very helpful over the years dealing with building departments and masons who have not yet been enlightened...

or visit our reference section (website at top of page) for Masons who we have worked with and build great Rumford fireplaces.