Hyper Fires Buyer’s Guide

Our Fireplaces & Chimneys buyer’s guide helps you choose the fireplace, chimney or braai that is right for you. Browse through the available options below and visit our online shop to request a quote.

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Slow Combustion Fireplaces Buyers Guide

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When looking to buy a slowcombustion fireplace you will need to consider the factors below to determine the correct fireplace for your needs.

PRICE

When looking at slowcombustion fireplaces first determine what you would want to spend. Remember that all prices on slowcombustion fireplaces are quoted excluding the flue kits, cowling and installation; this can still add a further R7000, 00 on top of your slowcombustion fireplace price.

HEATING CAPACITY

Take the volumetric size of the room you wish to heat into consideration to determine the kilowatt output of the slowcombustion fireplace you need to buy. In layman’s terms you would require 1kw for every 10m² if your ceiling height is 2.7m.

WOOD OR MULTIFUEL

You would need to determine if you wish to burn anthracite in combination with wood before purchasing your slowcombustion fireplace. Most of the slowcombustion fireplaces available in South Africa are wood burners only. The kilowatt rating supplied on the fireplaces is all determined burning wood and the heating capacity off wood is greater than that off anthracite, it gives a much nicer flame effect. The dedicated anthracite burning fireplaces are normally top loaders, these units give off less heat than the wood burners but they can be burnt continuously for long periods on end.

FREESTANDING OR BUILT-IN

The big deciding factor in existing houses between freestanding and build-in is normally price. The freestanding units work out cheaper to install than the build-in units. In newly build houses clients tend to go for the build-in option rather than freestanding due to cost of building being incorporated into the overall building cost of the house. The advantage of the build-in option is that you can change the look of the fireplace by adding a mantle-piece or painting the fireplace structure whereas with the freestanding your look will remain the same.

Gas Braais Buyers Guide

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When looking to buy a gas braai you will need to consider the following factors to determine the correct gas braai for your needs:

WHAT DO YOU MOSTLY BRAAI

Gas braai’s come fitted with different styles of cooking surfaces; these surfaces in combination with the amount of heat generated from the burners will determine what meat is better suited to be cooked on the different gas braai’s. Some gas braai’s deliver very high heat and are better suited to cooking steak, others have lower heat and differently styled grids to lead the fat away from the fire so that there are less flames for cooking meat and chicken.</p> <p>So be sure to mention what you will be cooking on your gas braai when enquiring about the various brands.

TYPE OF MATERIAL

When looking at material you need to consider whether the gas braai will be indoors or outdoors. If the gas braai is going to be outside especially the coastal areas you need to consider a higher grade of s/steel like 304 instead of the most commonly found 430 s/steel on gas braai’s. This will ensure a longer life for the product. The benefit of having an s/steel gasbraai apart from the life expectancy id the ease with which it cleans.

HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU CATER FOR

Sizing on your gas braai will determine not only for how many people you would be able to braai for but also what accessories can be used and in what combination they can be used. Various accessories are available and you should consider what you would like to do with the gasbraai before choosing the correct product.

Gas Fireplaces Buyers Guide

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When looking to buy a gas fireplace you will need to consider the following factors to determine the correct gas fireplace for your needs:

GAS CONSUMPTION

Depending on the brand of gas fireplace you buy the gas consumption will vary. This is important to take into consideration when determining what size gas supply should be installed. The municipal bylaw in Cape Town states that no property my exceed the maximum amount of 38kg of gas without gas plans being submitted. So if you are going to install an appliance which gas consumption exceeds 700g/h on maximum setting or are planning to use more than one appliance at a time you will need to submit gas plans to council. We would take you through the design and setup of the gas installation when purchasing your new fireplace.

HEATING CAPACITY

You need to be sure that the gas fireplace you buy would be able to heat the area you plan to use the unit in. With most houses being open plan you are required to take any adjacent room which cannot be closed off by a door into account as well. As a rule of thumb you can say that for every 10m² at normal ceiling height of 2.7m you require 1kw of heat to warm the room.

EMISSIONS

All gas fireplaces must by law be tested by the SABS and have the LPG safety SA approval. Flue less gas fireplaces will receive a co2 emissions rating from the SABS, this will vary from brand to brand depending on how efficient the product is set up. It will also vary depending on the grate size. These co2 emission ratings should be taken into account when determining the room size you want to install the flue less gas fireplace into.

VENTED OR FLUE LESS

Two types of gas fireplace are available in the market, vented (requires chimney to outside) and flue less (no chimney required to outside). Vented gas fireplaces as a rule are much heavier on gas due to their extended flame affect. Their heating capacity however is not as high as the flue less gas fireplaces due to the fact that about 35% of the heat generated is lost through the chimney to the outside. On the other hand flue less gas fireplace is 99% efficient due to their flue less nature and that all heat generated is kept inside the house. These units burn the gas much more efficiently and the co2 emissions are virtually nonexistent, thus it does not soot like vented gas fireplaces.

Depending on the brand of flue less gas fireplace you buy the co2 levels emitted will vary. With some brands the emissions are much higher than others causing a “burnt gas” smell in your home, so be sure to ask for the co2 emission ratio on the various units before buying. You would be able to determine if a grate will have high emissions simply by comparing their heat output and gas consumption with each other, for example:

Grate 1 – 6.5kw @ 1.1kg/h on max (high emissions will give smell)

Grate 2 – 9.5kw @ 640g/h on max (low emissions virtually no smell)

Built-in Braais Buyers Guide

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When looking to buy a built-in braai you will need to consider the following factors to determine the correct braai for your needs:

TYPE OF MATERIAL

When looking at material you need to consider whether the braai will be indoors or outdoors. If the braai is going to be outside especially the coastal areas you need to consider an s/steel like 3cr12, 304 or 316, instead of mild steel on braai’s. This will ensure a longer life for the product.

DELUX VS. SUPER DELUX

Delux one grid & Super Delux three grids. Delux flue size is 300mm² & the Super Delux is 500x350mm, so the Super Delux has a much stronger draw the Delux and are less likely to smoke. The Delux braai is 100mm lower than the Super Delux braai, this makes it difficult to be able to turn a hand held grid inside the braai.

HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU CATER FOR

<br /> Sizing on your braai will determine not only for how many people you would be able to braai for but also what accessories can be used and in what combination they can be used. Various accessories are available and you should consider what you would like to do with the braai before choosing the correct product. Standard sizes that are available are 800mm, 1000mm, 1200mm & 1500mm.

WOOD OR GAS OR A COMBINATION

Most South Africans prefer to braai with wood or charcoal but that is now changing over to gas. Often it is required to do a quick steak in the middle of the week; this is where the gas option comes in handy. Making wood fires and waiting for coals takes up to much time. We have a special range of Combo build-in braai’s which houses both a wood and a gas section which all works on one chimney and can be used individually or as a unit.

View Chimney / Flue System products

The terms flue and chimney are often used interchangeably. The flue is the working part of the chimney, conveying the products of combustion safely to the tmosphere. The chimney includes the shaft within which the flue is housed. A flue works under negative pressure drawing the product of combustion from the appliance.

A successful “chimney draw” is dependent on the following principles:
– The difference in air pressure between the appliance and the top of the chimney (created by the height of the chimney).
– The difference in temperature between the appliance’s exhaust gas and the outside temperature.
– The quality of insulation along the length of the chimney.
– The route of chimney. (The straighter and more vertical the chimney the better).
It is essential to choose a flue diameter that matches the output from the appliance. An adequate air supply is also required for the appliance to operate safely and efficiently

Stainless Steel Flexible Liners

Flexible liners are used to reline an existing chimney. Care must be taken when selecting a flexible liner. There are two types of flexible liners:
– Single skin liners for use with gas appliances and
– Twin skin liners, manufactured from overlapping strips of high grade stainless steel to give a smooth sealed flue-way. These liners should be used with wood and multi-fuel appliances. Single skin liners must never be used with wood or multi-fuel applications.

Chimney Position

The ideal location for a chimney is on the inside of the building. That way it can benefit from being kept warm. Chimneys situated outside the building can be affected by cold weather causing poor up draught and condensation, particularly if they are un-insulated. It is therefore important that a cavity wall is continued around a lined masonry chimney or a factory made insulated chimney system is used for external applications.

Connection to the Chimney

For open fires a suitable throated front lintel and gather must be installed above the fire opening, so that the front, back and sides slope up smoothly into the flue opening in the chimney at an angle no greater than 45° from the vertical. Flat surfaces or shelves must be avoided as these can cause turbulence and smoky fires. Most flue and chimney manufacturers provide standard gather and fireplace components. Precast fire chambers or Firechests are also available for standard and larger fire openings.

Bends in the Chimney

Both the Regulations and the Standards recommend that bends in the chimney be avoided, as a straight vertical chimney performs better. If bends are necessary there must be no more than four in the length of the chimney. The angle of the bend should be no greater than 45° from the vertical, with the exception that 90° factory made bends or tees may be treated as being equal to two 45° bends. Where System Chimneys are used, always use the standard offset components which are available from the chimney manufacturer. For stainless steel chimneys the distance between bends must be no greater than 20% of the total chimney length. It is recommended that a vertical rise of 600mm should be allowed immediately above the appliance before any change of direction. An inspection hatch is required between each offset.

Chimney Heights and Termination

The minimum chimney height recommended for minimum performance of wood burning and multi fuel appliances is 4.5 m from the top of the appliance to the top of the chimney. It is best to position the chimney, so that it goes straight up as near to the roof ridge as possible.

Fuel Burning

A chimney operates on the principle of having a natural up draught. One factor in creating the up draught is maintaining a warm flue gas temperature, of between 150°C and 450°C. Burning wood or multi fuel slowly with insufficient air supply, particularly on stoves or closed appliances must be avoided. Low flue gas temperatures will cause condensation and greatly increases the risk of producing excessive tar and corrosive soot deposits. This is a common problem, particularly when burning wet wood or coal and should be avoided. If soot and condensate deposits are allowed to accumulate in a flue, the deposits can ignite causing a chimney fire. These deposits can also be very corrosive and if they are not regularly removed can cause corrosion of the metal parts of both the chimney and the appliance.When burning wood it is important to ensure that it is dry and well-seasoned.

Regular Inspection

The chimney should be swept regularly to remove soot and tar. At the very least the chimney should be swept at the start of the heating season. It is not recommended that the appliance is over fired, (allowed to burn fiercely and out of control), or chimney fires be started in an attempt to clean the chimney. Deposits of soot and tar will be greatly increased if unseasoned wood is burnt. Should a chimney fire occur, the chimney and appliance should be checked for damage before using them again.  It is also good practise to check at least every year or two the exposed parts of a chimney, flashings and terminals for signs of damage. Just like the outside of a house chimneys can suffer from the wear and tear of extreme weathering. If at any time smoke or fumes are apparent or suspected from the appliance, chimney or flue, seek advice immediately from the installer or chimney expert in case there is a blockage or failure. Do not use the appliance or chimney until they have been thoroughly checked for safety and soundness. The escape of fumes can be dangerous.

Drying your wood

Before drying, know the properties of your wood. The duration of seasoning depends on the wood and for deciduous trees, when the tree was felled.

The sap of deciduous trees moves to the roots in the winter, so such trees felled in winter have a much lower moisture content to begin with, and so will be seasoned more quickly. In general, pine and other softwoods require around 6 to 12 months to season, while hardwoods such as oak require a year to 2 years. However, this rule of thumb has exceptions, so knowing the tree type and its water content is important.

Surface water will usually evaporate quickly; the concern is the moisture content within theImportantly, there isn’t any point seasoning wood longer than it needs to be. Over-dried wood will have less energy as volatile esters in the wood evaporate. These waxy substances contain a great deal of heat energy, so it is a mistake to think that longer is necessarily better.A special instrument can be hired or purchased that tests the moisture content of wood (usually known as a “wood moisture test meter” or similar)

Gather and stack wood at the right time of year

With the exception of wanting to gather deciduous trees when their sap is lowest during winter, gathering and seasoning wood during the summer season makes good sense because you can take advantage of the warm weather to start drying out the wood. In areas with little rainfall during summer, open air storage is also a viable option; any rain that does fall will usually replace sap and as the water evaporates faster in the heat, the fuel will dry faster. Chop the wood in readiness for storage. It’s best to get the pieces down to no more than 6-8 inches (15cm-20cm) in diameter. Eighteen inches (45cm) long is a common size, though 16 inches (40cm) is the correct length for a face cord and will fit better in smaller stoves.

Store the wood outdoors

Do not store wood inside; if there are termites, you don’t want them getting at your house!

Stack the wood

Stack the wood so it isn’t sitting directly on the ground or right up against a wall. If you don’t have a woodshed, cut two saplings to use as a base to keep the firewood from contact with the ground. Pallets are also a great alternative.

If you don’t have or don’t want to make side supports, you can stack the ends by turning the direction of wood 90 degrees with each layer and the end stacks will be self supporting.

Allow space between the stack and a wall to allow air to move

Air circulation is an essential part of the seasoning process, to ensure that the wood dries. Ideally, you would have a moisture barrier such as a tarp below the wood, and/or have it spaced up off the ground to allow air flow.

Ensure that the top of the wood is covered

Ensure that the top of the wood is covered to allow rain (or snow) to run off without soaking the wood. However, keep the ends of the stack uncovered to allow air to circulate and moisture to escape.

Bark acts like a lid on firewood, offering natural protection. On split wood, stack the wood with the bark on the bottom to allow the wood to dry faster. If you are storing the wood without cover, stacking with the bark on top will prevent some of the rain from soaking into the wood.
There are two theories on the covering of wood during the seasoning process and you must decide for yourself which theory you wish to follow. One theory is that already stated––cover the wood to prevent the rain and snow from entering the center of the stack and gathering there. However, within the firewood community, another theory holds that you do not have to cover your wood at all, ever. Just leave it out there in the weather and it will season just as well as if you covered it. This theory has its supporters and the they are quite sure it works just as well as covering your pile. Perhaps divide your wood and try an experiment with both ways.

Check for wood dryness

You can use the wood moisture test meter as mentioned earlier, if you have access to one. Alternatively, try these simple test:[1]

  1. Pick two pieces of wood that you think is dry. Knock the two pieces together. If you hear more of a “ring” than a “thud”, then it’s probably dry.
  2. Also, check for radial cracks at the ends of the wood, which indicate dryness.
  3. Burn a piece on a roaring fire base. If three of the sides begin to burn within 15 minutes, the fuel is dry.

BRAAI & FIREPLACE MAINTENANCE AND INSTALLATION:

Rotating cowls must be greased twice a year. Not greasing the cowls will relate in water leakage and the fireplace smoking.
All steel exposed above roof level will corrode and should be treated accordingly. paint with NS4 and topcoat with enamel paint. s/steel parts will discolour when heat is applied.
When build-in braais or fireplaces are installed an expansion gap pf 20mm should be left between the brickwork and the unit.
All juntions and cowl boxes must be fixed with rivets or self-tapping screws
All seams on flues, junctions and cowl boxes must be sealed with heat resistant silicone.
Silicone wire should be used to connect the light fitting.
Any water leaks that may occur should be reported to the relevant installer directly by yourself, their contact numbers can be obtained from us.

Hyper Fires does not take the responsibility of any water leaks down the inside of the flue due to the cowl being galvanised [galvinsed cowls are heavy and to slow].
Please note that the installers used to install your fireplaceare subcontracted to you and should be paid directly by yourself.
All freestanding fireplaces are supplied standard with 3,6m flue. Any adional flue required to ensure the fireplace working optionallyare for the clients own account [unfortunately it is not always possible to advise telephonically the length of flue required]
Fireplaces and braais can be painted with Etch coat primer
Please note that it will seem as if the fireplace is smoking the first time when lit. This is quite normal, it’s the paint burning in. The fireplace will also give off a chemical smell, this will disappear after the first couple of hours.