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Be warm, look good... feel good

Australians have fallen in love with fireplaces all over again leading to a major trend back to embracing fireplaces in the home. Innovations in heating technology and design have increased the versatility and range of options for fireplaces, and made them less expensive to purchase, install and operate. What’s not to love?

People are now designing their living spaces and lounge rooms around the centerpiece of a fireplace which is being viewed as a piece of furniture. Although function is an asset, the look of a fireplace has become paramount to its inclusion in the home.

According to Wayne Millhouse, director of Lopi and Heatmaster Wood and Gas Fireplaces, home owners are creating a complete look and feel for their homes to match their lifestyle.

“People are designing their fireplaces to enjoy all year round by choosing models with comfort control switches to lower the amount of heat generated for milder spring and autumn evenings, and incorporating accent lights into the fireplace structure to add mood to a room,” said Wayne.

More and more homeowners are also choosing fireplaces as an essential element of their outdoor living spaces, to warm them on cooler nights and enhance their entertaining lifestyle.

The overriding characteristic of modern fireplace design is its streamlined look and flexibility.

In the past, wood fireplaces were common in homes and were very effective in generating heat. Then with the change to fast-paced city living, dual income couples wanted the instant satisfaction of being able to come home and push a button to warm the house and reverse-cycle air-conditioning became popular. However there has been a retreat from air-conditioning alone as it tends to dry out the air and is more expensive to run.

So people started choosing gas heating as they liked to see the flame and enjoy the ambient effect, and companies started investing more to develop new fireplace technology to better suit our lifestyles and home building design.

Lopi and Heatmaster Wood and Gas Fireplaces have evolved over more than 20 years and offer solid craftsmanship, reliable performance and unbeatable heating efficiency. An innovation in Lopi’s manufacturing design is the direct vent flue technology.

Traditionally, new fireplaces were very expensive to install as they required tall, bricked chimneys to draw the smoke from the fire. The chimneys had the added effect of drawing oxygen from the room and making the occupants drowsy.

“Direct vent flue technology allows a gas fireplace to be a completely sealed unit which carries fumes outside via a flue and through a parallel pipe in the same flue, oxygen is brought in from outside to feed the fire. This allows the air quality in the room to be maintained, and not impact allergy and asthma sufferers,” said Wayne.

The overriding characteristic of modern fireplace design is its streamlined look and flexibility. Some people are even choosing to present their fireplaces with overhead wall-mounted plasma televisions or artwork.

Lopi gas fireplaces can be installed with three sides (base in line with the floor) or four sides (mounted up the wall). New technology provides the added advantage of a zero clearance to the timber frame in the wall cavity. This means fireplaces can fit into relatively small spaces minimising alterations to the framework of new homes or major renovations.

The fireplaces are also easy to operate and maintain. Gas fireplaces can be turned on with the flick of a wall switch and any other functions are simply adjusted behind concealed base panels.

A wide range of surrounds from stainless steel facias to stack-stoned walls to traditional and contemporary mantels are available to suit your home. Fireplace interiors are made of stainless steel or attractive firebricks. Open gas fireplaces use ceramic in the shape of pebbles, wood logs and coal to create a real life burning effect.

Prices range from $5,000 for a fully installed gas fireplace with its intrinsic value held in the focal point it creates for the living area of a home. They cost about 30-50 cents per hour (natural gas) to operate depending on the model and area heated.

Fire safety screens are sold with all fireplaces in accordance with Australian Standards.

So, which fireplace is right for you?

Wood fireplaces

Burning wood is the only true way to heat your entire home from a fireplace. When considering a wood fireplace for your home there are basically two options, either an open fire or slow combustion stove.

  • Heatmaster Open Wood Fires: This fireplace provides 5 sided convection heat so the home will benefit from radiant and convected heat output with no mess. Whether you want a freestanding open fireplace through to a more traditional fireplace with mantelpiece there are endless options to tailor a look for your home.

  • Lopi Slow Combustion Stoves: This glass-fronted stove can burn for up to 12 hours and heat areas of up to 350 square metres. The range offers both freestanding and in-built units in a variety of designs.

Gas fireplaces

Gas fires provide absolute convenience and can be an extremely cost effective method for heating large areas of your home. They provide ambience at the flick of a switch.

  • Heatmaster Open Gas Fires: This fire has the same qualities as the wood box except it uses thinner steel to ensure that maximum heat output is gained.

  • Lopi Direct Vent Gas Fires: Direct vent gas technology bridges the gap between wood and gas fireplaces by providing a cost effective heating solution while heating areas up to 150 square metres. These glass-fronted gas fires can also be flued and terminated horizontally out onto an external wall making them extremely versatile for a variety of installations.

For more information call Home Option Gallery heatmaster_logo lopi_logo
on (02) 8860 9333 or see Fireplaces.