A fireplace is one of the most adored features of a home but there are many things to consider before deciding which type is right for you. There are many ways to make your fireplace more than just a heat source; I’m going to break down some of the best design ideas you can use in your own home.
Arguably the most common route to take with fireplace design is going with a gas insert. This option is most popular. They are very easy to use; simply use the remote or a switch to turn it on and off.
There’s also very little maintenance required to own and run a gas fireplace. They are safer than a traditional wood-burning fireplace because they lack open flames, creating a much cleaner experience without any smoke or ash.
The drawback, however, is a lack of true ambiance. Gas units cannot provide the crackling sounds and smells a true wood burning unit can. And if there is a power outage, your gas fireplace will not function.
You will spend a bit more to run a gas fireplace than you would if you were simply buying firewood to heat your space, but the cost-to-convenience ratio usually steers people to the gas units.
The cost to operate a wood-burning fireplace on a day-to-day basis is less because firewood is so cheap. You will spend a bit more time maintaining your natural heat source. Your chimney and fireplace will need to be regularly cleaned in order to keep it a safe and clean heat source in your home.
If a storm strikes and the power goes out, you’ll still have a cozy fire as long as you’ve got firewood. So in this respect, a natural wood-burning unit is very dependable.
There’s no real convenience factor with wood-burning fireplaces. There is no on/off switch and they do require attention when starting and putting out a fire. This makes or breaks most consumers’ decisions between gas and wood burning.
Don’t forget about the fact that you’ll need storage space for all the wood you’ll be burning. Sometimes this is indoors, sometimes out – either way it takes up lots of space and does require some planning.
Electric fireplaces are kind of the poor man’s fireplace, but only for reasons having to do with install. In fact, electric fireplaces are very expensive to run. They can rack up your utility bill quickly, and, depending on the grid your electricity is on, may not even be an option.
The electric fireplace is great for people who want a small amount of heat in a small space that wouldn’t normally allow a fireplace. Apartments, condos, and smaller rooms in a home are the most likely choices.
They are very easy to install: simply plug it in and turn it on. They are quite portable, but you’ll be sacrificing some ambience and they really aren’t that realistic looking.