How to choose a fireplace

How to choose a fireplace

Still not sure which fireplace insert is the best for your home? Let our wizard help you choose the right fireplace!

A modern fireplace insert represents an economical and ecological way of heating, and with a proper facing, it becomes an aesthetically pleasing part of any interior. So which is the right insert for your fireplace?

It is necessary to ask one basic question: For what purpose do you want to use your dream fireplace?

If the purpose of the fireplace is to heat just one room, e.g. your living room, in cold spring or autumn evenings, then a suitable choice is a single-shelled fireplace insert.

If you need to provide heating to more rooms, you need a a double-shelled fireplace insert that is equipped with a second shell that is connected to the hot-air distribution system. The insert should have a higher output to generate a sufficient amount of heat also for the other rooms to be heated (e.g. upstairs). Hot-air distribution systems usually consist of a flexible AL hoses with a diameter of 150 mm. The length of the hoses should not exceed 12 m. The length of individual branches should not exceed 4 m. The ducts must be as straight as possible.

If you intend to use your fireplace as an all-year-round, daily heating source for the whole house, including water heating, then a suitable choice for you is a hot-water fireplace insert. This insert is equipped with a hot-water heat exchanger and can be connected to the house's heating system. A heating system with a hot-water insert must be equipped with an expansion tank, pump, filter and other safety and control elements according to the project and in compliance with the legislation in force.

The output of a fireplace insert should be determined by a specialized stove company based on the heat losses of the house, the house type (passive house, low-energy house, new building, reconstructed building, old building) and the area to be heated. If a hot-water insert is used, the amount of water to be heated also needs to be considered. In this case, the required output of the fireplace insert is divided into two parts - that transferred to the water and to the air.

Space size Brick uninsulated house Brick insulated house Low-energy house
(m3) Fireplace output (kW) FLAMEN model Fireplace output (kW) FLAMEN model Fireplace output (kW) FLAMEN model
60 4,1 kW ALFA, BETA 3,4 kW - 1,0 kW -
70 4,8 kW ALFA, BETA 3,9 kW ALFA, BETA 1,1 kW -
80 5,4 kW ALFA, BETA 4,5 kW ALFA, BETA 1,3 kW -
90 6,1 kW ALFA, BETA 5,0 kW ALFA, BETA 1,4 kW -
100 6,8 kW ALFA, BETA 5,6 kW ALFA, BETA 1,6 kW -
110 7,5 kW ALFA, BETA 6,2 kW ALFA, BETA 1,8 kW -
120 8,2 kW SIGMA, KAPPA 6,7 kW ALFA, BETA 1,9 kW -
130 8,8 kW SIGMA, KAPPA 7,3 kW ALFA, BETA 2,1 kW -
140 9,5 kW SIGMA, KAPPA 7,8 kW ALFA, BETA 2,2 kW -
150 10 kW SIGMA, KAPPA 8,4 kW SIGMA, KAPPA 2,4 kW -
160 11 kW SIGMA, KAPPAA 9,0 kW SIGMA, KAPPA 2,6 kW -
170 12 kW SIGMA, KAPPA 9,5 kW SIGMA, KAPPA 2,7 kW -
180 12 kW SIGMA, KAPPA 10,0 kW SIGMA, KAPPA 2,9 kW -
190 13 kW SIGMA, KAPPA 11,0 kW SIGMA, KAPPA 3,0 kW -
200 14 kW - 11,0 kW SIGMA, KAPPA 3,2 kW -
210 14 kW - 12,0 kW SIGMA, KAPPA 3,4 kW -
220 15 kW - 12,0 kW SIGMA, KAPPA 3,5 kW -
230 16 kW - 13,0 kW SIGMA, KAPPA 3,7 kW -
240 16 kW - 13,0 kW SIGMA, KAPPA 3,8 kW ALFA, BETA
250 17 kW - 14,0 kW - 4,0 kW ALFA, BETA

Then the selected fireplace insert needs to be properly connected to the chimney, it is necessary to correctly route hot-air distribution systems or to ensure the connection to the house hot-water system is correct, and to make a proper facing. The connection to the chimney shall be revised by a chimney company, which will issue an approval certificate once they have verified the condition of the chimney. Facing and the hot-air distribution system (if specified) shall be built by a specialized stove company, which will recommend suitable materials for effective heat transfer. The fireplace insert connection to the house heating system should be carried out by a specialized company – chimney-sweep / stove builder. We recommend working with a professional company that holds a trade license in the field of stove-building and/or chimney sweeping.

Before building a fireplace, it is necessary to: ...

- have the chimney inspected by a professional chimney-sweeping company before the fireplace insert is connected. This company will check the condition of the chimney and will approve whether the chimney is suitable for connecting the fireplace insert.

For proper operation of the fireplace insert, the chimney must have a suitable diameter and effective height. The chimney diameter should be at least the same or greater than the diameter of the fireplace insert flue. The effective chimney height should be at least 5 m (distance from the vent edge to the chimney top). The insert is connected to the chimney via a separate flue at an angle of 45° or via a vertical flue with a length of max. 1.5 m . The connection must be carried out in accordance with CSN 73 4201:2010. Any other type of connection may cause the insert to function improperly due to insufficient chimney draught. The insert will work properly with a chimney draught of at least 12 Pa. If the draught is greater than 15 Pa and it should be limited, it is recommended to install a flue gas flap. It is recommended to carry out the connection in such a way that condensed combustion products or rainfall cannot enter the flue or the insert (not applicable for a vertical connection to the chimney).

- to have a sufficient supply of combustion air - best from outside. A fireplace needs oxygen to operate. If the oxygen is drawn from the room it is necessary to ensure a sufficient supply, especially if e.g. plastic windows are installed. Primary air is drawn from outside via an AL flexible hose that is attached to the bottom part of the fireplace insert below the ashtray.

Wood is considered to be a renewable source of energy. In our circumstances it can be obtained at a reasonable price. Using wood for burning in a fireplace is the cheapest way of heating. To set a fire in the fireplace it is advisable to use softer wood that burns more easily. Hard wood of broadleaved trees like oak, hornbeam, and beech are suitable for normal burning to obtain a stable and long-lasting heat. The wood that is used for burning in the fireplace insert should not be fresh and should not contain too much resin. The moisture content should not be greater than 20 % and the wood should not have any surface moisture (store at room temperature one day before heating). Fresh wood should be left to dry in a sufficiently ventilated shelter for at least two years so that it loses approx. 80 % of its moisture.