High-Tech & the Hearth

Technology seems to define and influence our behavior more than ever.  Of course this could just be

the whining of an ageing homo-sapien,  but  for as much promise as technology holds for us there is at least an equal amount of frustration as we adapt.  

 

When we consider our relation to fire it is not immediately obvious how much technology has

has influenced us.  We have moved from striking flint over dry straw to matches, butane lighters and firestarters.  The origins of camp fire building have evolved to The Top Down Burn.

 

EPA & Washington State certified stoves have evolved to limit our individual control of the stove or insert.  As long as we operate with dry wood and observe the basic tenants of  the owner’s manuals, it is almost impossible to create a smokey, inefficient fire.  EPA Label.  Yet, for those who believe they can learn nothing new,  fire building can harken back to our caveman roots and create unhealthy smoke and particulates.

 

Fortunately, fire technology has not stopped with wood burning.  Witness the evolution over the past several decades in gas burning and electric fireplaces.   While some would eschew the use of these sources of fire it is hard to argue that the beauty, style and efficiency of these products is very appealing.  Add to that the relative cost and ease of utilizing these products compared to wood and it is easy to understand their popularity.  Outdoor Great Room Wave or Amantii fire & Ice.

 

Once again the advancement of these products has not been restricted to their aesthetic qualities.

Over the past several years we have seen the development of  electronic ignition and remote controls that allow the fire to ignite without a traditional  standing pilot system.  These multi-function devices allow users to control flame height, heat output, fans and lights.  They also provide thermostat and timer functions in many cases.  Now we are on the cusp of having our fireplaces controlled by our smart phones (some of these are already in use).  

 

It’s true that time waits for no Man or Woman,  and like it or not our control of fire is blossoming with our technology.

 

March 20, 2017

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