September 9, 2019
As the days become shorter and the breeze becomes crisp, you find yourself spending less time out on the deck and more time indoors, perhaps on a couch in the living room with a blanket and a good book.
The only thing missing from this picture? The warmth and comfort of a crackling fireplace!
With all of the modern options available for installing a fireplace in your own home, it’s never been easier to complete the living room of your dreams. Or perhaps you already have an existing fireplace, but worry that it’s too old, unsafe, or environmentally unfriendly to use on a regular basis. It’s absolutely possible to retrofit a new, safe, model into an existing fireplace!
Read on to learn about what types and styles of fireplace are available, and determine which one is the best fit for you!
A gas fireplace is one of the most common options, especially for replacing an existing traditional wood-burning fireplace. The major benefit of a gas fireplace is efficiency — if you use natural gas, the cost of running your gas fireplace can be as low as 40 cents an hour. On top of that, the heat produced by your fireplace means the rest of your home’s heating system doesn’t have to work as hard, so you may even save money in the long run!
While a gas fireplace does not offer quite as much flexibility as other types, due to the need to be connected to a natural gas line or a propane tank, they are usually no more difficult to install than a gas stove. Some models are even designed to sit within an existing traditional fireplace — think of a microwave that fits perfectly inside your oven.
It’s important to note that some gas fireplaces are designed not to emit heat into the room, with a focus on the decorative aspect.
An electric fireplace is the most flexible and convenient option for your home. As they only require electricity to run, there is virtually no limit to where and how an electric fireplace can be installed. Electric fireplaces come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and some are even designed to sit on a shelf.
You’ll also have the most control over the heat your electric fireplace generates. You can set a specific temperature, adjust the temperature on the fly, and even leave the flickering flames turned on while not generating any heat.
An electric fireplace is a particularly great choice for families with younger children. Since the flames are only “for show,” there is the lowest risk of injury or burns.
While electric and gas fireplaces have their benefits, it’s fair to say that none of them can exactly replicate the “organic” feeling of a real wood-burning fireplace. While the convenience of never needing to toss more logs onto the fire, stoke the coals, or sweep up ashes is a benefit for some, others may enjoy the process of tending a warm, crackling fire.
And of course, a wood-burning fireplace is by far the most energy-efficient option, requiring no gas or electricity. Note that some newer models feature gas “starters” that make it a little easier to get the fire going, but obviously this requires much less fuel than a fully gas-powered unit.
Keep in mind that you’ll also need to perform regular professional maintenance on your wood-burning fireplace to prevent safety issues or damage to your home. But for those who love nothing more than an evening in front of a real wood fire, the maintenance is often worth it.
As you can see, you have all kinds of options for choosing the perfect fireplace for your home. We’d love to talk with you about coming up with a design that incorporates your new fireplace into your existing living space! Contact us today to get the conversation started.