How study and observation of Benjamin Thompson Rumford led to great results.
Thanks to his practical experience and studies on heat, Rumford (full name Benjamin Thompson Rumford, 1753-1814) applied important changes to smoky fireplaces. During his stay in England, Rumford along with his master builder changed over 500 fireplaces making them perfectly efficient, gaining a great reputation in this field.
At that time, hoods and chimneys had great sizes to allow chimney sweeps to slip in the flues to clean them. These dimensions caused the smoke cooling, the vertical thrust slowing, so a simple gust of wind could easily slip into the barrel and reject the fumes into the room.
Rumford made four simple but effective changes:
- he restricted the flue pipe to improve combustion efficiency. Consequently, an efficient combustion maintained flue free from residues to clean;
- he made internal surfaces of chimney smooth and free of accentuated corners in order to facilitate the sliding of fumes;
- he placed the mouth of the chimney directly above focus plane, to make path of smoke as vertical as possible;
- he changed shape of fireplace by reducing their depth and, as he was aware that the warmth of combustion was a radiant heat, he inclined sides to maximize the reflection of warmness to the room.
The Rumford fireplace was the standard for the industry until the 19th century!
HOW TO IGNITE A FIREPLACE
TIPS FOR FIREPLACE CLEANING
Always store hot ashes in a metal container for at least 24 hours before being thrown away; in fact some residue turned on may cause a fire in the trash.
Never get out of the combustion chamber pieces of charcoal smoking because they produce carbon monoxide, that is a very dangerous residue of combustion.
Use scoop iron. It’s used to remove ash even when it is very hot. Together with the metal brush, those tools will allow you to clean the chimney even in the presence of embers not perfectly turned off.
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