Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Rumford Fireplace

The Rumford Fireplace

If you are thinking about building a new custom home and you want to make a statement with your choice of fireplaces then there is only one way to go and that is to have a mason built Rumford fireplace installed.

A Rumford fireplace isn’t just a beautiful looking fireplace it’s also a very efficient fireplace. Rumford’s have a wide, high, shallow firebox that throws the heat from the burning wood into the room instead of allowing the heat to rise up and out of the chimney like most conventional fireplaces.

The Rumford fireplace was created by Count Rumford a talented inventor who fled the colonies to England in 1776 because he was a loyalist and supported the monarchy.  Rumford fireplaces are basically still the most efficient way for a fireplace to be built and haven't changed much since the count invented them.

To give you some perspective on the dimensions of a Rumford fireplace I will explain to you what a 4 foot Rumford looks like.

A 4 foot Rumford means that it has a 4 foot wide opening for the firebox. The actual masonry for the Rumford fireplace around it ends up being about 6 feet wide. Then your stone facing would be installed on top of that increasing the width.

The actual firebox is about 16 inches deep, the firebox is not square like a traditional fireplace but the sides are angled in so sharply towards the back of the fireplace that it leaves only 18 inches of width at the back wall. The sloped angled walls that run to the back are actually longer than the 18 inch back space at 22.5 inches.

These measurements are dramatically different than a conventional fireplace and for good reasons. A Rumford fireplace is built this way on purpose, to allow as little obstruction for air flow up the chimney as possible.   There is little to no obstruction because the fireplace box is so shallow that the back of the firebox lines perfectly up with the line of the flue. When the hot air is allowed to rise up the chimney unobstructed then the draw on the fireplace is greater allowing the burning of wood at a much warmer temperature.

A conventional fireplace has a deeper box, as the hot air rises up the chimney the air starts to swirl, not all the air rises immediately causing these fireplaces to smoke and also making the burning of wood in warmer weather much more difficult.

Another thing that is different about a Rumford is that you stack the wood vertically against the back of the fireplace, where in a conventional fireplace you would stack them horizontally.
Rumford fireplaces burn much more cleaner than conventional fireplaces and they actually meet the EPA standard for emissions.

A Rumford fireplace requires no doors to contain smoke.

When looking for a fireplace in a custom home ask for a Rumford you will not be disappointed.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Information for this post was found at www.rumford.com and several other places on the internet.

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