Whether you are renovating a historic home, want a specific style in your house, or just want a fireplace that generate enough heat to warm your entire home, Rumford fireplaces could be the right solution for you! Although Rumford fireplaces have historic origins, they can be added to any modern home.
However, there are several considerations when adding a Rumford fireplace. First, they must be built to exact specifications to burn and reflect heat efficiently. It is also important to work with an expert mason with fireplace building specific experiences. Likewise, Rumford fireplaces need regular maintenance, sweepings, and inspections to burn safely and more efficiently.
The history of Rumford fireplaces
Fireplaces have been a necessity and luxury for homes in a long time now. However, they historically had lots of issues. Older fireplaces:
- Could not draw smoke up and out of the chimney properly.
- Did not heat your home effectively.
- Did not burn efficiently due to lack of fresh air.
In 1795, an American named Benjamin “Count Rumford” Thompson changed it all by reinventing fireplace. Rumford spent his life studying heat and fireplace dynamics. He wrote two papers detailing his improvements to modern fireplace design that were extremely popular and widely read. This new design, known as Rumford fireplace, was taller and shallower than previous designs while heating homes effectively .
Do Rumford fireplaces heat effectively?
The unique design of Rumford fireplaces allow them to heat a room more effectively than regular fireplaces. They are tall and shallow with widely angled sides. This allows more heat to be reflected back into the room instead of up the chimney. Likewise, the design also features a streamlined throat design. This effectively carries smoke up and out of the chimney without taking heated air with it.
Why are Rumford fireplaces no longer used?
Rumford fireplaces were the most popular way to heat homes between 1795 and the 1850s. Thomas Jefferson used Rumford fireplaces to heat Monticello, and Henry David Thoreau even listed them in his writings as a modern convenience.
With the turn of the 20th century, boilers, radiators, and forced heat systems became significantly more popular ways to heat homes instead. Because fireplaces were no longer needed as a primary heat sources, they became less functional and more decorative in homes. Rumford fireplaces are shallow, many mistakenly believe they cannot heat effectively or they will cause smoke to fill the room. They have such a unique design that some owners of historic homes even wrongly think that Rumford fireplace has been bricked in!
Adding a Rumford fireplace to your home
Whether you are renovating a historic home, adding a new fireplace, or updating an existing fireplace, a Rumford fireplace can add character to your home while providing efficient heat. For more information about Rumford fireplaces, contact the expert masons at Coopertown Services today!