The problem with the fireplace, besides the ugly mesh screen, was that it wasn’t quite constructed right. We decided we wanted to add doors to the fireplace to make it look pretty, and when we had someone come out to give us an estimate, he told us the chimney part wasn’t wide enough for the size of the firebox, which is why we’d been having so much trouble with smoke blowing back into the house. The solution was to close it in with doors and to make the opening smaller, so the ratio of opening to chimney would be better. Here’s the before photo:
Here’s the after picture:
The contraption across the bottom of the doors is a fancy fireplace thing called a grate heater, which lets us keep the doors closed with the fire going while a fan inside circulates the air out to us to keep us warm. This eliminates the problem of all the warm air in the house rising up the chimney and leaving us huddled in blankets wondering why we’re cold by the fire. It was a lot more expensive, mostly because we needed to upgrade the glass in the doors to something called pyroceramic glass, which can withstand the intense heat from the enclosed fire. We still have the option of leaving the doors open and the fan off, and just having a normal open fire, so we can enjoy the festive crackles and sparks. But because this room has such high ceilings and only a 5-foot section of baseboard heat, it’s a very cold room in the winter, so having this grate heater will make a world of difference and will make it that much more fun to hang out in that room and watch TV.
It’s 90 degrees out today, so we won’t be testing it out for quite a while, but I think it improves the look of the room and I’m really excited about it! Can’t wait to have it in action next winter!