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Why do I need a Fireplace Grate?

Updated on August 21, 2010

There's nothing like sitting around the fireplace during the winter. The crackling and warm light of the fire makes a home seem so much more cozy, but for many, growing up with a fireplace is becoming a rarer and rarer occurrence. As this becomes rarer fewer people are taught what it takes to maintain a fireplace or even what is necessary to run one. One of the many components needed for a fireplace is a fire grate.

What's a Fire Grate?

Simply they are a stand to put the wood on that sits in the middle of your fireplace. They are typically made of cast iron or steel and come in a variety of styles. Most of which curl up on two sides to help keep the wood in the fireplace from moving. Furthermore they are elevate the wood off of the fireplace floor.

Why is that Important?

Elevating the wood off of the fireplace floor is important because it does five important things.

The first is that by lifting the wood off of the floor, a higher quality burn is achieved. Air is able to sneak in underneath the fire charging it to be hotter. As the fire in the fireplace becomes hotter we can warm our house with less fuel. This means that in the long run, a fireplace grate will save you money.

Secondly, as wood is burned in a fire grate, hot coals fall to the fireplace floor. This allows the fire to burn from the bottom up, more completely burning the fuel. This further increases the efficiency of the fireplace and makes it easier to maintain because we no longer have to adjust the fuel to keep it burning.

Next a fireplace grates protect the floor of your fireplace. Concrete is a durable, but several seasons of direct exposure to fire will destroy it. By using a fire grate we are able to lift the fire off of the ground, saving the fireplace from the direct heat. This will greatly lengthen the life of your fireplace saving even more money on replacement costs.

A common problem associated with fireplaces is that many times the smoke from the fire will not enter the chimney but instead circulate throughout your house. Besides the annoyance of fire alarms constantly going off, it is not healthy for our lungs. A fire grate will elevate the fire off of the ground not only supercharging the fire but that very same draft will send the smote up through the chimney instead of throughout our homes.

Finally, fireplaces that use a fire grate are easier to light. There is less time fussing around with kindling, blowing on the embers, and praying that the fire is surely going to start this time. The same draft that makes the fire more efficient also aids in starting the fire itself by feeding it a constant new supply of fire to the hottest regions of the flame.

Fireplace grates are almost a necessity when using a fireplace. They protect our fireplaces and make more efficient fires that in the long run pay for themselves.


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    • rockfordchimney profile image

      rockfordchimney 6 years ago from South Lyon, MI, 48178

      great article. Iv never tried to start a fire in a fireplace without a grate. I couldn't imagine it would work very well. When i start a bon fire outside i use a grate evey time. It gets it going fast.