Choosing a fireplace

As the temperatures plummet, nothing has more appeal than the charm, character and warmth of a fireplace. But with so many different types of fireplaces available today, there are a few important things you need to consider before turning up the heat.

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Where once a fireplace consisted of a brick façade that only burned wood, now you can choose from a myriad of styles powered by gas, electricity and ethanol as well. What you decide on will depend on your budget, heating requirements, aesthetic vision and environmental considerations.

Wood

Whilst there’s no denying the charm of a crackling wood-burning fireplace, they also have a reputation for being environmentally unfriendly because of their inefficiencies and potent emissions.

But if you can’t go past the allure of real flames, and you’re prepared to do the extra work, there are a number of highly efficient wood-burning models, along with fireplace inserts and accessories that can dramatically improve efficiency. As for managing emissions, make sure you only use seasoned wood, as it’s more efficient and cleaner to burn.

Gas

With a gas fireplace you don’t have to install a chimney or worry about storing and hauling wood into the home and struggling to start a fire. All it takes is the flick of a switch. They’re also more affordable, energy-efficient, easier to maintain and produce fewer emissions than wood-burning fireplaces. For those reasons, gas fireplaces are the number one choice amongst consumers. And because of their versatility in design, they offer a huge range of options to showcase a room, thanks to their ability to add ambiance and warmth to a room, while looking realistic.

Electric

Electric fireplaces are becoming increasingly popular because of their ease of maintenance, versatility and simple plug-in installation. They add atmosphere without any construction costs, and their price point is significantly lower. The new styles have come a long way from the older electric models in simulating realistic flames, and are available in a variety of sizes, styles and trim options to complement any décor.

Ethanol

Ethanol burners are also gaining popularity, as they are portable and efficient. People can use them indoors and out, and they’re ideal as a tabletop fire.