What Kind Of Fireplace Is Right For Your Home?
There’s nothing like coming in from a cold snowy day and warming up by the fire. Whether you’re relaxing with a glass of wine or warming up with your kids with hot chocolate after a long afternoon of sledding and building snow forts, a fireplace means home. There are a lot of options when you’re shopping for fireplaces though. With some recent improvements to gas and electric fireplaces, there’s real competition. Before you make up your mind, weigh the pros and cons of all three.
The original, age-old fireplace is in a way irreplaceable. The ambiance of real, crackling wood, not to mention the smell of burning oak or hickory, is hard to replicate. But if you’re going with a wood fireplace, you should learn a few things about tending to a fire first. It’s not as easy as just lighting a match. You will also need to maintain it regularly, including sweeping the chimney of soot and creosote. If you don’t adequately clean the chimney, you run the risk of lighting a very dangerous chimney fire.
A gas fireplace means you don’t have to deal with firewood, smoke, or cleaning the chute, but for convenient installation, it does mean your home will have to have a gas connection already. Otherwise you will need a propane tank and there will be some design costs to installation. The flames in a gas fireplace are real, gas-fueled flames. Unlike an electric fireplace, a gas one can get hot to the touch, which should be a concern for parents of young children and even pet owners. Electric fireplaces are designed with materials that don’t transmit heat and are much safer for kids.
An electric fireplace is the most flexible and convenient of all your options. They take up the least amount of space for all of your options, so they’re ideal in small living rooms, apartments, and condos. In fact, due to the set up involved in a gas or wood fireplace, they’re often the only option renters and condo-owners have if they want to introduce the inviting warmth and ambiance of a fireplace. Electric fireplaces are commonly placed in wall units that also hold a television, so it’s located in the center of attention of your living room. If you decide to upgrade your home with an electric fireplace, you can also take it with you when you move. An electric fireplace is also the most economical option available to you. The only point where an electric fireplace might be more expensive than wood is if you want to use it as a primary source of heating. Electric fireplaces have come a long way in terms of realism, too. Flames and pulsating logs provide the real experience of a fireplace, and some can even crackle.There are pros and cons to any type of fireplace you buy, but ultimately it comes down to personal taste, budget, and the constraints posed by your home. All types of fireplace will add a romantic, cozy atmosphere to your home.