If your fireplace has been working just fine without a grate, you might be asking yourself if there is even any need of getting one in the first place. This is a valid question to ponder and for the most part, most fireplaces will function without the addition of a fireplace grate.
Like fire screens, fire grates are categorized as fireplace accessories. And while your fireplace will remain functional without them, you will also find that the fireplace will function better and look sleeker with them.
In essence, a fireplace grate does come along with some excellent functional features that will improve your fire experience.
Most people with wood-burning or coal-burning stove fireplaces find a fire grate helpful. Including a grate in your fireplace comes with several benefits that will work to enhance your fire experience based on your needs and preference.
It is important to realize that you will need to choose a great fireplace grate that is most suitable for your fireplace. In addition to size that also means choosing between three types of materials for fire grates that will best meet your needs.
- Steel bar grate – good for wood-burning fireplaces
- Cast iron – this type is a great option for versatility because it’s able to work with wood and will also hold coal with ease
- Grate heaters – if you warming the home with your fireplace is a top need. Then you want to get this type of grate because it is designed to redirect some of the heat back into your living space.
Benefits of fireplace grates
The benefits of fire grates cut across the board irrespective of the size for as long you get the right size for your fire area. These benefits are as follows;
- Efficient burning of logs that creates a better fire experience
- Less stoking required with a grate design like the self-feeding fireplace grates
- Raises the main body of an open fire for an appealing look
- Offers better air circulation necessary for combustion through air passage below the unit
- Protects the hearth from intense fire temperatures and enhance its durability
- Improved ventilation and therefore reducing the amount of smoke produced. Thanks to abundant oxygen flow
- Starting the fire is much easier as the logs and tinder are suspended
- Managing the fire is much easier as the logs are constricted to the fire grate area for efficient burning
- Since the fire is raised, towards the throat of the chimney, smoke effortlessly exits into the chimney as opposed to most of it escaping into your living room
- Fire grates do a great job of keeping the fire towards the back of the firebox and lessening the chances of ash and coal from falling onto your living area.
- Clean-up is also made somewhat easier as fire debris tends to accumulate in a fairly neat pile beneath the grate.
Now that you know the numerous benefits of a fireplace grate, you might be wondering how to use one and what cleaning your fireplace might look like in the presence of a fire grate. Well, it’s very simple.
You simply wet the ash with a bit of water to prevent ash dust from flying all over the place when sweeping the firebox at least 24 hours after your last fire.
Dispose of the debris. After that, go ahead and position the grate in the center of the fireplace such that the long side faces the opening. You also want to ensure that your grate leaves at least 3 inches from all sides of the firebox wall.