How Do I Know Which Type of Fireplace to Get for My Home?

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Fireplaces have always been popular. And we can all agree that there is nothing quite like sitting in front of a fire on a cold winter night. You and your loved ones get to bask in its warmth while spending some time together talking or watching television.

Not only do they make great gathering spots, but fireplaces can also add a certain flair to a great room, living room, dining room or to an open kitchen. Below is a concise guide to choosing the perfect fireplace for your home. Happy reading!

The Types of Fireplaces You Can Choose from

Type 1: Wood-Burning Fireplace

Wood-burning fireplaces are the traditional wood-burning hearth that you often see in pictures or movies. Some people prefer this type of fireplace because the snapping and crackling of a roaring fire can be very romantic. The most common types of wood-burning fireplaces include:

  1. The traditional open hearth: It is typically made of stone or brick.
  2. The fireplace insert: This is an insert that can be simply slid into an existing fireplace opening.
  3. The enclosed fireplace: It is an enclosed fireplace that has a large glass panel so you can see the fire.

Type 2: Gas-Burning Fireplaces

Despite not having that authentic sound and smell of burning wood, gas-burning fireplaces are easier to manage than wood-burning fireplaces. The following are two types of gas-burning fireplaces you can choose from:

  1. Direct-vented built-in fireplaces:  Can be installedthrough an existing or newly constructed chimney.
  2. Ventless built-in fireplaces: Does not need a chimney or vent.

Type 3: Electric Fireplaces

Electric fireplaces are probably the least like real fireplaces. They are modern and require no venting or chimney access. Types of electric fireplaces include:

  1. Mantel electric fireplaces: meant to mimic built-in wood-burning fireplaces.
  2. Electric fireplace TV stands & entertainment centers: This type of fireplaces is not that common, but does exist. These furniture units come equipped with electric fireplaces.

How to Choose a Style that Fits Your Budget and Décor

In addition to keeping you warm during the colder nights of the year, a fireplace also adds intangible value to your lifestyle. It creates a cozy ambiance and adds beauty to any room.

Below is a list of things you may want to consider before having one installed:    

  • If you are building a new house, remember to incorporate a fireplace early in the design stage
  • Getting the proper measurement if you want to replace an existing fireplace
  • The type of fireplace you want. For example, if you want a gas-burning fireplace ensure you have a gas supply to the fireplace.
  • Choose the location wisely.
  • Take your home style into consideration. For example, a modern fireplace will look better in minimalist décor.

Consider the Benefits and Drawbacks of Each Type of Fireplace:

Type 1: Wood-Burning Fireplaces

Pros of Getting a Wood-Burning Fireplace:

  • The ambiance created by crackling logs and woodsy aroma is uncontestably calming and romantic.
  • It is not electricity-dependent.
  • You have the freedom to choose the type of firewood you burn, meaning you have full reign over the longevity of the fire and the aroma.
  • There will be a higher amount of heat added to your home.

Cons of Having a Wood-Burning Fireplace Installed:

  • Buying or chopping your own firewood.
  • Set aside a place to store it, so it stays dry until you’re ready to burn it.
  • It is generally unsafe as a fire can be re-sparked without you noticing.
  • It requires annual maintenance.
  • It is not efficient as there is always a risk of the damper not having been properly closed. If that happens, drafts will escape or enter through the chimney and will result in higher utility bills.

Type 2: Gas-Burning Fireplaces

Pros of Getting a Gas-Burning Fireplace:

  • You don’t have to prepare the fireplace and wait for the wood to start burning properly. A switch, thermostat or even a remote control you can get the fire started immediately.
  • It is efficient since it burns gas cleanly and creates more heat for a lower cost. You can also control heat emission with a thermostat.
  • It does not require regular cleaning as there are no ash and soot left behind. It only requires annual maintenance or inspection to ensure that it is working properly.
  • It is not dependent on electricity and can work perfectly fine even in the event of a power outage.

Cons of Having a Gas-Burning Fireplace Installed:

  • The cost of installation can be high as a gas line must also be installed.
  • It does not have the same effect as a genuine wood-burning fireplace. There is no aromatic smell emitted, for example.

Type 3: Electric Fireplaces

Pros of Getting an Electric Fireplace:

  • It is the least expensive option.
  • It can be easily installed.
  • It is highly portable as it just needs to be plugged in.
  • Perfect for small apartments.

Cons of Having an Electric Fireplace Installed:

  • It will not work during a power outage.
  • It is costly as it is completely reliant on electricity.

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