With people spending a lot of time indoors in 2020, the idea of adding a level of comfort and coziness to those indoors spaces has been on the rise. Fireplaces, especially in colder climates, are an alluring amenity on a good day let alone when you're confined to the indoors for weeks on end.
If you happen to be considering the luxury of a fireplace for your home, what should you look for when buying a fireplace? Which type of fireplace is best? Is natural gas better than wood burning?
There are lots of things to consider when getting into the fireplace market. Let's explore what to look for when buying a fireplace.
3 Main Fireplace Types
There are three main types of fireplaces to look at when shopping around for the first time.
- Wood-Burning Fireplace
- Natural Gas Fireplace
- Electric Fireplace
With each type having their own pros and cons, careful thought should be given to choosing what might be best for your home. Let's explore these factors and develop a level of awareness that will simplify the decision making process.
It's hard to argue with the classic aesthetic of a wood-burning fireplace. The ambience of crackling and popping and the smell of real wood burning is a tough one to beat. There's something truly human and earthy too about starting a fire and enjoying the power of it.
On a different level, most people have to endure power outages every so often. With a wood-burning fireplace though, you won't have to worry about getting cold anytime soon. If you're set up for it properly, you can even do some cooking over the fire too.
Wood-burning fireplaces aren't without their challenges though. Despite the ambience they provide, they are by far the most amount of work. The combination of chopping and hauling firewood and the amount of maintenance required can be enough to deter your average shopper.
Wood-burning fireplaces should be cleaned at least once a year to avoid creosote excess. They also pose the highest risk for house fires if not carefully attended to.
No doubt your work will be cut out for you with a wood-burning fireplace, but the payoff of natural aesthetics and ambience can't be discounted either.
Natural Gas Fireplace
Natural gas fireplaces represent a modern solution to the wood-burning fireplace that is by far the most energy efficient option on the market. Natural gas burns the cleanest with the fewest pollutant emissions. They are also much easier to maintain than the wood-burning counterpart.
On top of these benefits, natural gas fireplaces are just plain convenient. They often turn on with the flick of a switch giving you instant gratification and they also allow for usage if you experience a power outage.
One of the notable downsides of a natural gas fireplace is around the issue of installation. Depending on the setup of your house, running a gas line to your fireplace can be a challenge. This can drive up the installation cost significantly but it may be worthwhile given the solid list of benefits they offer.
Perhaps the underdog when it comes to fireplaces is the electric fireplace. To be fair, many older electric fireplaces are cheap and tacky looking. It's understandable that many people would avoid this option and spend their money on something of higher quality.
That said, the electric fireplace industry has seen huge advancements in the last few years. Technology has developed in such a way that many electric fireplaces easily compete with natural gas fireplaces with a classy, modern aesthetic.
Electric fireplaces are a great option if you are looking for something relatively inexpensive to purchase. They are easy to source and install and require almost no maintenance.
Unlike wood-burning and natural gas fireplaces, no nasty pollutants are given off as they run. All the heat generated is kept in your home too.
They are also the safest option as they are cool to the touch in case you have kids or pets running around the home.
Beyond that, electric fireplaces are highly portable and easy to relocate in your home if you end up doing some remodelling or renovating.
Which One Is For You?
Making a decision on a fireplace can often come down to context. If you find yourself in a cabin out on the lake or a large country home, it's hard to argue with a natural wood-burning fireplace.
If you're in the suburbs with easy access to natural gas and the extra cash for a higher priced installation package, a slick natural gas fireplace can be a solid option.
But if you're looking for the perfect combination of lower price point, ease of use and trendy aesthetic, you certainly can't go wrong with a modern electric fireplace.
Regardless, the luxury of a fireplace is a great way to add value to your home and comfort to your living space. Be sure to check out our selection of electric fireplaces models.