Using a Bio-Ethanol Fire to Restore a Historical Fireplace

Historical property restoration has become a Using a Bio Ethanol Fire to Restore a Historical Fireplacehuge craze, with many going to great lengths to return structures centuries old to their former glory in a modern setting. But many still also resort to destroying and rebuilding instead of facing the time and effort of restoration. (Check out his article on How to Choose a Fireplace and Identifying Historical Design Styles)

Luxury heating company Smart Fire UK says it needn’t be such a labour of love and have heating solutions available to make the process a little easier. Smart Fire UK’s innovative and stylish designs have made them popular within the luxury sector, but the company has also been behind fireplace restorations in some of the finest historical houses. EcoSmart Fire products work by burning bioethanol, which produces no smoke, gases or odour, and do not require a chimney, flue or extraction system. This makes them the perfect choice for restoration projects if fireplaces have been blocked off and chimneys deemed unusable. The clever design of the heaters and the bespoke facades mean they look at home in grates dating back centuries.

Trinity House, the working home of the General Lighthouse Authority in London, faced a tricky restoration project when it’s 18th Century grates were deemed unusable due to lack of chimneys. They wanted to bring the impressive fireplaces back to life, and realised that to do it they would need to seek alternative answers. That’s when they decided to investigate the use of clean-burning fires, and came across Smart Fire UK. The fireplaces, which dated back to 1796, presented a new problem as they were not straight-edged, and instead had a unique curved shape.

Using a Bio Ethanol Fire to Restore a Historical Fireplace 2Smart Fire UK fitted the fireplaces with bespoke drop in plates. The EcoSmart Fire XL500 Burner was incorporated into the fireplace in the Court Room and a VB2 burner into the smaller Luncheon Room of the House. Smart Fire UK also manufactured bespoke glass fireguards and modern safety features without distracting from their beautiful appearance. Events manager for Trinity House Edgar King said: “The fires have created a cosy ambiance for both daytime and evening events and the fact that this heating source is environmentally friendly is an added bonus.

“Before the renovation the fireplaces were technically in fine condition but we felt it was a waste of a potential source of heat and added ambience that they were inoperable.”

Smart Fire UK has worked on a number of different restoration projects, and are keen to stress the value of restoration. Paul Holt from Smart Fire UK said: “It’s been a great honour to be a part of restoration projects in places like Trinity House, it’s a rewarding feeling to bring a historical feature back. “Properties built hundreds of years ago are constructed in a completely different way to those built today, but it’s a great shame not to make the most of their quirks and period design.

“Smart fires are a great solution for anyone looking to breath life into historical fireplaces which have been rendered un-usable in a modern setting.

“Many people also don’t want to use traditional fires with chimneys because of the soot and maintenance. “The EcoSmart Fire XL500 is a great model for restoration, as it can be easily installed in existing grates.

“That’s not to say it doesn’t always go without a hitch, but with some innovation and perseverance people can certainly preserve a piece of history in their own homes or property, it just requires some homework.”

 For more information about common chimney problems

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