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What Kind of Fireplace Should I Buy?

When deciding what type of fireplace to purchase, there are several things that you must take into consideration. Do you like sitting by the rustling fire on a bitter winter’s evening? Or do you prefer a heat source that has easier upkeep? All types of fireplaces have advantages and disadvantages; however, it is up to you to decide which one fits best with your home and your lifestyle.

Wood-Burning Fireplace

If you are more traditional, then the wood-burning fireplace is for you. Typically built for older homes, sitting in front of the brilliant, crackling fire of a wood-burning stove is the ideal way to warm up on a cold, icy winter’s night. There is nothing compared to the aroma of natural fire, and specific types of wood can produce stronger scents filling your home with calming fragrances. If you live in an area where wood is plentiful, then you can save money on heating costs by chopping and gathering firewood. Plus, wood is a naturally renewable source. This makes wood-burning fireplaces an excellent choice when considering the material that is being utilized. These fireplaces can also be used to heat water and cook. Additionally, if there is a power outage, your wood-burning fireplace will be a source of heat.

There are negative aspects to the wood-burning stove. This specific fireplace is the least effective in heating your home. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that open fireplaces such as the wood-burning stove lose more than 90 percent of the fire’s heat out of the chimney, in addition to the room’s heated air. To prevent this, you must install a fireplace insert or you will lose a majority of the heat out of the chimney when the fireplace is not being used, and the living area will develop a draft. Over time, this will increase your energy and heating costs.

Wood-burning fireplaces are also notoriously messy. This specific fireplace leaves soot, debris and ashes abound, that must be cleaned up before you can build the next fire. There are various tools required for fireplace maintenance and safety. If a chimney is not cleaned properly, there is a chance that harmful gases and smoke could leak into your home. It is recommended to have your chimney cleaned once yearly.

Gas Fireplaces

Gas fireplaces have become a popular option because they are so convenient. In newer homes, the gas fireplace has been built so that in order for your gas fireplace to operate, you only have to light a pilot light, and then flip a switch or remote control to get your fire started. Gas fireplaces require no chimney; thus you will not have to fret about dangerous exhaust from the smoke. This also means that you will have no worry about chimney problems or chimney maintenance. While you may not have a pleasant aroma, gas logs can still provide some of the ambiances that a wood-burning fireplace does.

There are downsides to the gas fireplace. While gas fireplaces are able to suitably heat a room, they cannot heat an entire house. They are also expensive and range around $2,000. And if you are looking for that cozy, comfortable rustic feeling you receive from a rustling fire, you won’t get that from a gas fireplace. Your best bet is to opt for the more traditional wood-burning option.

Electric Fireplaces

If you live in an apartment or condominium, then an electric fireplace is the most logical choice for you. This modern alternative does not require gas lines or a chimney and is typically portable. Most choose an electric fireplace because it can be plugged into any outlet, and it starts heating right away. Electric fireplaces are more economical than both wood-burning and gas fireplaces and are a worthy source of heat for smaller rooms in a home.

If you want to save money on your energy bills, do not buy an electric fireplace. Compared to standard heaters, they are no more efficient. They also do not provide any more heat than a traditional
heater. Be aware: electric heaters do not always come assembled. It is possible that you may have to piece yours together, or either hire someone to assemble it for you.

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