It’s a fact that many South Africans balk at the figure on their electricity bill. So much so that alternative energy in the home is an area with a growing following, both locally and internationally. In this vein, Cape Town based company Designer Fireplaces have been inspired by masonry heaters from the Austrian Alps to offer highly efficient wood burning fireplaces, and so help consumers to reduce their heating bill.
A no-waste approach
These eco-friendly fireplaces enable the consumer to use up to 88% of the heat generated by the fire to heat a home – an increase of up to 700% when compared to traditional fireplace designs. This highly efficient system is helping people to stretch their energy sources further, cutting down on waste and ultimately reducing their energy bill and carbon footprint. This efficiency is rooted in the high temperatures at which the wood is burned and a unique ceramic heat retention system. As a result of this clever design, a single fire can continue to warm a small or large room (from 30m² to 200m²) for up to 12 hours, making it ideal for homes, restaurants and guest houses.
Once the fire dies down, only 1% of the wood’s original volume is left over as a carbon rich wood ash that makes an excellent alkaline fertilizer.
Supporting local business and communities
Using firewood in South Africa to fuel a home is not only making great use of a more sustainable resource but it is also good for local communities. South Africa is plagued with almost 200 different species of invasive trees that place pressures on its fragile ecosystem. These invasive trees such as Wattle, Eucalyptus and Rooikrans are frequently cut down by local communities and entrepreneurs and sold as firewood. Buying this firewood to heat a home or small business will serve to support these communities and clear space for indigenous species.
Using an efficient fireplace to replace an oil or bar heater is one step towards a more sustainable lifestyle and is thus an excellent option for architects or guest house owners to consider.
Source: as posted on http://designerfireplaces.newsvine.com/