Monday, December 22, 2008
4: Warm Hearth
We're getting a lot of snow this week, and I've been thinking a lot about how much I like my Tulikivi fireplace. I had originally thought I would buy a wood burning stove for the house, but the wise people at Mountain Flame convinced me to push my budget and invest in this Tulikivi. I'll admit that I had a serious panic attack early one morning after placing the order. I was spending 3 times more than I had planned to spend on a Rais wood burning stove. But, I'm glad I listened to them and found the money to go this route. I think of the Tulikivi as a machine as much as a fireplace. It's so much more efficient than a regular fireplace, and once it's heated it emits the most relaxing heat from the soap stone. There are many styles and designs. I chose one of the more simple ones, and Mountain Flame added a bench that wraps nicely around the corner of the wall in the living room. Stone cold, it takes about three loads of wood to get the soapstone up to a room-warming temperature. The bay front glass doors give maximum viewing from just about anywhere in the living area (even a bit in the kitchen) and allow easy access. I really like the fact that they keep sparks and hot coals from popping out. The Tulikivi features several levers that allow you to control the rate of burn by controlling the flow of air into the fireplace. Internal vent chambers move the heat and exhaust around inside before sending it up the chimney, which really maximizes the heat from the fire. Below the fire chamber is a door with a drawer inside to catch ash. Like I said, Tulikivis are really efficient. The one maintenance issue is with the glass doors, they have to be cleaned periodically depending on the amount of smoke and soot generated by the fire. But, even that little chore is easy with a little spray and wipe.