There was a time when fireplaces were common features in every home. If your modern home lacks one of these beautiful and functional features, it doesn’t mean you have to go without. Whether you’re looking for gas, electric, wood-burning or custom, there are many fireplace options on the market today that can fit just about any need, space, budget, and design aesthetic.
A gas fireplace is the most commonly found type of fireplace in modern homes. Even some older homes have had the original wood-burning fireplaces upgraded with a gas insert. This is because gas fireplaces burn cleaner and are not as messy, difficult to maintain, or labor-intensive to start as wood-burning, but still provide the aesthetic and the warmth that wood-burning fireplaces provide. A gas fireplace is a good fit for any type of home, whether a smaller, more modern home, or an ornate traditional home showcasing the fireplace as a decorative centerpiece.
- Gas fireplaces come in many different designs. Homeowners can get the traditional fireplace look with the modern, efficient capabilities of a gas fireplace, or go for a more contemporary design if traditional isn’t their style.
- Unlike a wood-burning fire, you don’t have to “tend” a gas fire. It burns only as much as you turn the gas up, and it won’t go out until you turn the gas off—often with a light switch. There are never any embers to deal with.
- Just like a traditional wood-burning fireplace, gas fireplaces still produce heat and comfort, but without the hassle.
- You don’t need a chimney, gas fireplaces can be vented in other ways.
- Gas fireplaces will only heat the room they’re located in, not the entire house. This option isn’t a good primary source of heat for your home.
- Bear in mind the cost of gas if you plan on leaving the fireplace on for long periods of time.
- Some homeowners love the smell of a wood-burning fire, and you will not get a smell, or the crackling noise with a gas fireplace.
- They are can be pricey to install and require a gas line and electrical connection.
An electric fireplace is the perfect fit for a homeowner who lives in a small condo, a modern home with clean lines, or if they are looking to use a fireplace for aesthetic reasons more than warmth. Electric fireplaces don’t have to look like a TV screen, and some models do produce heat!
- There is no maintenance at all with an electric fireplace. All you have to do is flip a switch and enjoy!
- If you live somewhere where winters aren’t necessarily cold, but you’re looking for the comfortable vibe that fireplaces provide, electric fireplaces are the perfect fit.
- You can turn the fireplace on and not worry about embers, ash, or smoke. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ambience.
- Most electric fireplaces plug into a simple wall outlet, unlike the elaborate installation of a gas fireplace.
- There is no wood-burning smell or crackle that some people enjoy.
- An electric fireplace doesn’t produce as much heat as a gas or wood-burning fireplace.
- Your electric bill may be a little higher than normal when you use your electric fireplace.
When most people think of a fireplace, they envision seeing a warm glow, hearing a soft crackle and smelling a smoky and musky smell. They typically are envisioning a wood-burning fireplace or stove. However, with this beauty comes a bit a work to get going and maintain. Wood-burning fireplaces look great in any type of home, and they can provide a rustic, cabin-like ambience, or an ornate traditional feel to any home.
Wood burning stoves are in the same family as wood-burning fireplaces, but differ slightly in that they’re intended for functional use rather than design and ambiance. Homeowners who are looking to decrease their heating bill may opt for a heat-generating wood-burning stove.
- Homeowners will get the smell, crackling sound and warmth typically associated with a fire from a wood-burning fireplace.
- It gives homes a cozy, nostalgic feel.
- It’s a good thing to have when the power goes out in the winter time as it provides a bit of heat in the room and light.
- Wood-burning fireplaces do not increase your utility bills and can be used as a renewable, “off-grid” energy source.
- Wood-burning stoves can provide heat throughout the home in more traditional layouts and older homes.
- You can cook on a wood-burning stove if the power goes out.
- Many modern wood-burning stoves are EPA compliant.
- Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces are harder to maintain than electric and gas. Chimneys need to be cleaned regularly and ash should be cleared from the base from the after every use.
- Wood-burning fireplace often require a chimney for ventilation.
- A stockpile of wood (whether chopped from the trees in your yard or purchased) needs to be on hand every time you want to use the fireplace.
- You can’t safely leave a wood-burning fireplace or stove unattended. Shifting logs can send embers flying out of the fireplace.
- Wood-burning fireplaces have open, accessible flames, making them less safe for small children and pets. You can help prevent accidents by always using a fireplace gate, but children and animals should never be left unattended near a fire.
- Wood-burning stoves are designed for function over aesthetic and often has a closed grate which limits your view of the flames.
For homeowners who have unusual spaces or a specific vision in mind, a custom fireplace is a great option. Working particularly well in more modern spaces, custom fireplaces leave behind the off the shelf designs and allow homeowners to create a unique focal point—such as see-through fireplaces or units mounted high up on walls.
- Homeowners can choose a design that fits their unquie aesthetic and space.
- Custom fireplaces can be a variety of sizes, including much larger than traditional fireplaces.
- Since these designs are typically gas or electric powered, they usually don’t require a chimney.
- Custom fireplaces are more expensive than other options.
- They provide less heat than a wood-burning fireplace and are missing the crackling sound and smoky smell.
- Large gas-powered units will have a bigger impact on your gas bill.