Fall is here, so it’s time to talk about fireplaces. Who doesn’t have fond memories of gathering around a fireplace to watch the flames and feel its warmth? Not only can they make a home a little cozier, fireplaces can help regulate the inside temperature, add ambience, and add value to a home.
With ever-improving technology, fireplaces are now available in a variety of sizes and styles, ranging from classic brick and mortar varieties to gas fired units that hang on the wall; from stand-alone woodstoves to tabletop versions that are more akin to large candles. Created to fit any décor and blend in with any design, they come in traditional, modern, rustic, and minimalist designs and the list goes on and on. Understanding the highlights of each can help to speed the selection process.
WOOD BURNING FIREPLACE
Nostalgic and timeless wood-burning fireplaces heat up interior spaces while being eco-friendly, energy-saving, and using a renewable resource. Typically planned, designed and installed during the initial construction of a home, wood burning fireplaces are permanent fixtures that require proper ventilation. Yearly maintenance, proper wood storage, protective screening and an effort from the homeowner(s) to periodically clean out the ash and chimney and monitor the fire when it is burning are a must for this option.
Electric fireplaces can provide an impressive ambiance with no mess and little maintenance. Available in a range of styles and sizes, electric fireplaces are cost-efficient, safe for children and pets, don’t need to be vented, and can quickly heat up a room with just the push of a button. Many are even portable. Of course, if the electricity goes out, so does the fire.
Often created to resemble a wood-burning fireplace, gas fireplaces are charming, can light up with a remote, require no cleaning, and are energy efficient. Most are designed to be built into the wall or installed within existing wood-burning fireplaces, which can be retrofitted to run on gas. While they need yearly servicing and some models require venting, a gas fireplace can be used to add warmth to a home even if the power is out.
ETHANOL OR GEL FIREPLACE
These offer the most variety in terms of size, design, and placement. Both Ethanol and Gel fireplaces are suitable choices for realistic flames, low maintenance, and minimal to no odor. Relatively new on the market, these fireplaces are easily installed, and like all of the choices, the proper fuels must be kept on hand to continually run these interesting fireplaces.
No matter the choice, nothing can replicate or replace the peace and warmth that a cozy fire brings to a home.