Fireplaces are a good place for families to gather around during the cold winter months and celebrate important events such as Christmas. Before you install one or do renovations to an existing fireplace in your home, it is important to consider several factors such as the type of ambiance you want to achieve in your living room, the type of fuel you are going to use and the implication the fireplace will have on the utility bills. However, before that, you have to take time to understand the different types of fireplaces available so that you make an informed decision when choosing one.
- Wood Fireplace
Wood fireplaces are the oldest types of fireplaces that have been used since ancient times. They are the most preferred because of the ambiance and aesthetic feel they provide. If you are looking for more warmth, then you should go this type of fireplace since it requires a clay hearth for wood burning. Clay is known to retain so much heat, even after the fire runs out, hence heating your room for quite long. The aesthetic look of embers from the burning wood is quite a romantic look and is most probably the reason wood is most preferred in the majority of homes. However, wood is quite expensive and hard to find, unless you have some trees in your back yard. Amongst all the fireplace options, wood is the least safe since the embers could fly out and cause home fires. This could be very dangerous when you have kids playing in the living room.
- Electric Fireplace
This is the safest type of fireplace available in the market since it does not produce embers that could cause home fires. It is also clean since there is no smoke, like wood. They are the easiest to install since it just involves electric wiring and a hearth that is protected with glass. Recent developments have now introduced fake wood that mimics the ambiance of a wood fireplace. It is most suitable for those who are not looking to have a lot of warmth in their living rooms since it produces much less heat. Besides, it presents a clean ambiance in the sitting room since there are no issues like soot, smoke, and ashes. It can also be turned off and on using a switch, whenever you desire and this makes it very safe and economical since this eliminates fuel wastage. However, the only drawback comes in that it is the most expensive type of fireplace to use since you will experience a high rise in utility bills.
- Gas Fireplace
Similar to an electric fireplace, this is another cheaper for an indoor fireplace because it is very easy to install and run. You just need a hearth and a gas piping to bring in the gas. Gas is not that expensive since it is readily available, hence the bills will be quite less. You can easily turn it on and off whenever you want, with the use of a tap. This proves to be very safe especially for households that have kids playing all over. On the other hand, it does not provide so much heat compared to wood fireplaces. It also does not provide an aesthetic feel and touch, which is romantic and mind soothing like wood does.
- Ethanol Fireplace
Ethanol is quite cheaper than most fuels, something that makes an ethanol fireplace among the cheapest options for indoor fireplaces. It is also odorless and colorless, hence no problems with creosote and smoke, which make the living a little uncomfortable. On the flip side, it does not provide you with the aesthetic look and rustic feel of wood embers on a dark evening. The main drawback with ethanol is that it needs refilling and this can be very inconvenient because you may never anticipate when the ethanol will run out. This thus means that you will be freezing before the ethanol tank is refilled.
Installation or repair of an indoor fireplace is not a DIY process. Therefore, you should never try it since you could be risking your safety and that of your family. That being said, consider calling a fireplace company to do the installation and repair work for you. The best thing about a fireplace contractor is that they will take you through on everything about the available options so that you make an informed decision before you choose one that will best suit your living room needs.