Heating with a traditional open fireplace is not going to be the most beneficial option. The majority of the heat is going to go straight up the chimney flue. However, you can increase the efficiency of a traditional fireplace by installing a fireplace grate heater. There are many different styles of grate heaters to choose from so you should be able to find one that will fit your fireplace.
When installing a fireplace grate heater there are no pipes to be run or construction that is needed. You simply set them in place, plug them blower in, and build a fire.
Fireplace Grate Heater Styles
The different styles of fireplace grate heaters are going to have a difference in appearance but each has been designed with one thought in mind… to get the warm are into the room and not up the chimney. All of the styles that I will talk about today have a couple similarities, you burn right on top of the grate heater and they have a blower to push the hot air into the room.
So let’s take a better look at each style and their differences…
Tube Grate Heaters
There are two models that we offer of this style grate heater: the Spitfire and the original “U” shaped Fireplace Heater. Both are manufactured by Custom Firescreen Inc.
The SpitFire Tube Heater is a low profile unit. The tubes are all connected and lay flat. The blower connects to either of the ends tubes just depends on what side of the fireplace you need the blower box on. This model is available in a 4 tube or 6 tube design. The tubes are constructed of 16 gauge aluminized steel to inhibit burn thru and rust.
The Fireplace Heater’s tubes are shaped into a U formation. Each of the tubes are separate from the others and stand straight up on their sides. This fireplace heater comes standard in 4 and 5 tube units but can be ordered custom up to a 10 tube unit. The more tube you have the higher btu’s will be put out. But you need to remember that the grate heater still has to meet the clearances with in the firebox of the fireplace. So you can’t just get a larger tube heater for the BTU output. The 1 3/4’’ heat tubes are made of .063 gauge aluminized steel to inhibit burn thru and rust.
WoodEze Grate Heater
The WoodEze Grate Heater has a much different appearance that the above mentioned tube heaters. This heater has a basket to build the fire on and the blower sits in front to blow the hot air into the room. This heater can be used with glass fireplace doors. The doors will have to be lifted to sit on the front bar of the grate heater. However you should not burn on the grate heater with the door closed because it could overheat the blower motor. The WoodEze grate heater is not intended to be used in zero clearance fireplaces. It is available in 3 sizes: 20’’x17’’, 20’’x22’’, and 24’’x22’’
Original Grate Heater from Thermorite
The Original Grate Heater is formerly known as Cozy Grate Heater by Heat-N-Glo. These heaters are area gain designed with a basket to build the fire on and the blower motor is placed out in the front of the basket to blow the heat into the room. This versatile unit can be used with or without fireplace doors installed. If using with fireplace doors, the doors will need to have room to be lifted 1 3/8’’ to sit on the front bar of the heater. These heaters are made of 12 gauge steel tubing.