5 Interesting Things to Know About Chimneys – The Popular Outdoor Fireplaces

Outdoor fireplaces have been popular in the US since hundreds of years. These are specially designed fireplaces with a highly energy-efficient design that helps in giving out more heat than by other outdoor heat generation methods such as by simply burning firewood in the form of a campfire. Here are a few important things to remember about these outdoor fireplaces that are also popularly known as chimneys.

1. Chimneys originated in the southern country of Mexico. These fireplaces are not a modern design; their design was perfected by Mexican tribesmen, and the same has carried on over the centuries. What we use as fireplaces is the same design, with very few changes. The basic design consist of a pot made of cast iron or a similar fire-resistant material with an open avenue from which to put the firewood and burn it and a vent on the top that also acts as a chimney. The whole structure is erected at a point over the ground, raised about 2 to 3 feet.

2. When the wood is put in it and burnt, it takes only about 10 minutes to make the whole place comfortably warm. This is because of the round design of the fireplace. The round design can very capably circulate the heat within and release it outside. Also, because of the round shape, a large amount of the heat produced is reflected multiple times and then released, which adds to the energy efficiency of the device.

3. You can also use your fireplaces for more reasons than just receiving heat. Some people use them to make their outdoor environment more fragrant. If you burn sandalwood, camphor or pinonwood in the outdoor fireplace, the heat produced won’t be too much, but the entire outside surrounding where this fireplace is present will become pleasantly fragrant. You could keep burning such material in your outdoor fireplace and enhance the quality of the surroundings of your home.

4. As far as possible, don’t use your outdoor fireplace when it is likely to rain. If you have the fireplace going with a nice crackling fire inside it, and if it suddenly begins to rain on it, then the drastic pressure difference can cause it to crack. This is one hazard that you will have to face with outdoor fireplaces. In such a case, you may still be able to use your chimney, but their heat efficiency will be quite reduced. Hence, the best thing to do is to avoid using the fireplace during the rainy season.

5. You will need to keep cleaning your fireplace often. There isn’t much you have to do… just clean out the inside pot and the vent that leads the exhaust out of it. This simple process makes it more efficient. You can also add to the heating quality of your outdoor fireplace by adding some sand on the surface.

These are the different things you should know about fireplaces to get started with them. If you haven’t installed one already, do it and you’ll see how greatly they can enhance the quality of your home.

Best Outdoor Games

This summer when it comes to throwing a party at a picnic or BBQ, you’re going to have the standard fare: Pop and Beer, Hot Dogs and Hamburgers, Grills and Coolers. Why not spice it up a with some unique and awesome outdoor games. Below you’ll find an overview of several outdoor games that you may or may not have heard of. If you’d like to know more about any of the games be sure to check out the link at the end of the article.

Cornhole
This is an extremely popular outdoor game that originated in the Midwest and has spread like wildfire. There are several other names for it: Tailgate Toss, Baggo, Chuck-o. Quite similar to horseshoes, you have two teams with teammates on opposite sides throw bean bags filled with corn onto a raised platform that has a circle cut out for a goal. If you make it in the hole it’s three points and if you make it onto the board it’s one point. Teams take turns throwing and the first to 21 wins. This game is great because you can stand around, chat and drink a beverage while you’re playing and once you get good at it it’s a pretty quick game.

Ladderball
Also known as blongo ball (weird right?) this game has the same “horseshoes style” approach that you have the two teams, take turns throwing, play to 21, etc. What makes this game so unique is that you take two golfballs connected by a string (in a bolo type fashion) and throw it to a target that has three rungs (much like a ladder) so that the rope wraps around one of the rungs. The scoring works much the same that you get three points for the top rung, two for the middle and one for the bottom. This game is much more challenging than cornhole and everyone’s got their own technique.

Kan Jam
This is obscure game out of Upstate New York that was developed by slamming a Frisbee into a garbage can. Using the same team setup as the other two, this game is wildly different in that the teammate can help correct a bad throw by “slamming” the Frisbee disc into the can. For every “Kan Jam” you get three points, if the Frisbee hits the can on it’s own you two points and if your partner corrects the Frisbee an it just hits the can you get one point. This game is wildly addicting because it’s interactive (both team members are involved in every play) it’s fast paced with games that can last only minutes and it’s so easy to play that anyone (including kids) love to do it.

Increasingly Popular Outdoor Hot Tubs

Hot tubs are extremely popular and an increasing number of people now have a them in their back yard. An outdoor tub is often easier and cheaper to install than an indoor one but you need to ensure that you have sufficient outdoor space to do this.

Providing you do have sufficient space then you can either have the one placed in the ground or else put on a stand above ground. One of the great things about outdoor tubs is that there is no need for a ventilation system so the cost is considerably less than installing an indoor one. They’re a great place to relax after work as it soothes sore muscles and helps you to relax.

You will need to think about why you want an outdoor hot tub, if it is only going to be used by you and your partner then that’s fine, a smaller acrylic or wooden tub will do. If you intend to have your friends round to enjoy the tub then you need to make sure that you have enough space to put the tub in. You can get vinyl or plastic tubs and although they are easy to install they are not that durable and rarely come with a decent warranty.

Wooden tubs are quite popular for the outdoors but because most use fire as a heat source, they often require a lot of maintenance. Acrylic tubs are more expensive but need a bit less looking after. When you have an outdoor one installed you will need a cover with insulation, not only will it keep the water warm, it will protect the tub and keep it free of falling leaves etc.

If you buy an outdoor hot tub then try to ensure you get one with decent heat controls as this can prevent the tub from freezing over in the cold weather. You need to make sure that you have a sturdy concrete slab on which to place it. Acrylic tubs tend to be the most popular and they are cheaper than wooden hot tubs. If you have children then make sure your hot tub has safety controls as well as a good cover.

When you are thinking about the size of outdoor tubs, you need to bear in mind that the bigger your hot tub, the more water and heat it will need and this will affect your utility bills. Make sure that you have a clear idea of what the running costs of your hot tub will be if you don’t want to run into problems later on. Many people have hot tubs for health reasons and if you plan on using your tub in this way then make sure that there is enough space for you to move around freely.