Avoid these 5 Mistakes When Purchasing a New Fireplace
The good thing about fireplaces is, once you have the right model for your home and have it properly installed, you can look forward to years of enjoyment. Any trouble associated with fireplaces usually comes from decisions you make before you light the first fire. So save yourself some hassle and avoid these five mistakes when purchasing a new fireplace.
1. Having the work done by an unqualified installer
Putting a new fireplace in a home is a multi-faceted job, one that requires skill, training and common sense. Homeowners are almost sure to run into problems if they hire a “handyman” for this work or, worse, try to do it themselves.
Often the hearth store where you purchase the fireplace will also perform installations, using technicians who are industry-trained, certified and experienced in your specific type of fireplace. If your hearth store doesn’t do installations, get to work and find a professional you can trust.
2. Not following local codes
Most municipalities and unincorporated areas have specific codes for the installation and use of fireplaces in homes. In addition, there’s a national code as well as safety and installation guidelines provided by the appliance’s manufacturer. Do not ignore these.
Fireplaces come in wood-burning, vented gas, non-vented gas, coal and pellet varieties. You need to talk with someone in city hall or your county government and learn ahead of time what kind of restrictions, if any, apply to the kind of fireplace you’re considering. Codes are in place to ensure safety. Ignoring them can result in fines and possibly a catastrophe in your home.
3. Selecting the wrong type of fireplace for your needs
Each type of fireplace is designed for specific performance, so make sure you buy the kind that’s right for your needs. Open-face wood-burning fireplaces are wonderful visual amenities in a home, but they’re not known for producing high levels of heat. Closed combustion units function more like wood stoves and are excellent choices for supplemental heating.
With a gas fireplace, you’ll be looking at vented and non-vented models. Vented models look beautiful with natural-style log sets, but they lose a considerable amount of heat through the venting. Vent-free models avoid this heat loss but are not allowed in some cities and jurisdictions. Determine if you want a heating or a decorative fireplace before you start shopping.
4. Buying the wrong size fireplace
You wouldn’t think this would occur often, but it does. The reason is, you can’t just look at a fireplace model in a store and determine exactly how it’s going to perform based solely on its size. When shopping, look for the BTUs for the fireplaces you’re interested in. Usually you’ll see BTUs along with square footage the unit is able to heat.
5. Replacing an old fireplace improperly
With new wood-burning and vented gas fireplaces, there will be specific venting properties that must be in place for the unit to operate safely and efficiently. If you’re replacing a current fireplace with a new one, you have to make sure that the current vent system or chimney will accommodate the new unit. One size does not fit all when it comes to this element of a fireplace.
If you’re thinking of bringing a new fireplace into your home, you can get expert advice and guidance from FyrePro of Fort Collins, Colo. We provide expert installation for the fireplaces we sell. Visit us at 4631 S Mason St., or reach us by phone at (970) 266-8556.