Fireplaces are the art of fire and heating and they’re an important focal point in a lot of today’s homes. Choosing the right fireplace can be a lot of fun. It is important to understand though that both wood burning and gas fireplaces should be selected carefully, because they are very hard to change out if the wrong choice is made.
When shopping for a new, efficient, clean-burning fireplace there are a number of things to consider. That’s why Fireside would like to share this handy Fireplace Buying Guide to help you find the perfect fireplace for your home.
Important questions to ask:
- What room will the fireplace go in? To avoid purchasing a unit that will over heat or under perform in the room it is installed in, it’s important to know the square footage of the space so we can help you find the perfect fit.
- Does the exact location you’re considering provide enough space to meet clearance requirements? Say you want your fireplace to go in the corner of the room or flat along a wall under a television or existing mantel, all these things need to be considered and discussed at the beginning of your shopping experience to ensure that the specific clearance requirements can be met with the unit you’re interested in purchasing.
- Do you want your fireplace to be a main source of heat, or to just provide enjoyable ambience? If you are looking for heat, then a clean-burning unit with high BTU’s is going to be your best bet. If you’re just looking for ambience then selecting a unit with special features like flame adjustment, lighting control and media choices (crushed glass, glass beads, rocks or traditional log sets) may be of more importance to you when choosing the right unit. Either way, both options now allow you to simply hook your fireplace up to a wall or remote thermostat so you can maintain your desired level of warmth, even during a power outage!
- Do you want your fireplace to look like a traditional masonry fireplace or more of a “built-in” modern look? You can certainly have a mason build a traditional fireplace. However, they are expensive, require large foundations, have location limitations and may not operate well. These days, quality factory fireplaces can have the look of a traditional fireplace but will operate better and be less expensive than the old style masonry fireplaces.
- What type of fuel will you be burning? If you’re other appliances, like a stove or heater, run off the city’s natural gas supply, this might be the best option for you. Propane gas burns with the same efficiency and ease, but you will need to install a large propane tank somewhere on your property and have it refilled over time. If wood is more accessible or affordable for you then that might be your best fuel type. However, if you prefer a real flame with out all the work and mess involved with chopping wood then perhaps a pellet stove might be a good choice.
- Do you want your wood fireplace to be clean burning? Wood burning fireplaces can be extremely green, if they are clean burning. Clean burning wood fireplaces eliminate the need to burn fossil fuels. They use a renewable, sustainable biomass fuel that is carbon neutral and doesn’t contribute to climate change.
- Will it be vented vertically or horizontally? Vertical venting goes straight up through the ceiling and out the top of your roof. This is possible even for two-story homes. Horizontally vented fireplaces must be on an outside wall because the venting will go from the back of the unit, penetrate the wall and then out the side of the house. Vertical venting costs more because more pipe is being used but vertical venting drafts a lot better. Horizontal venting can be cheaper and more convenient but not all units have it as an available option so be sure to let your sales person know your preference.
Fireplaces vary widely in cost, commodity appliances, style and performance. Fireside has all the industry’s leading brands in one store, with many burn models from Fireplace X, Heat-N-Glo , Ortal, and Town & Country on display. Be sure to visit us when you begin to plan for a fireplace.