The Best Tips for Buying a New Fireplace
Buying a new fireplace is a good idea for many different reasons. You may want to add a high-efficiency fireplace for the heat it provides, as an upgrade for an inefficient masonry fireplace or outdated pre-fab appliance, to cut energy costs by up to 40% or more, or to update a room. Deciding you want a new fireplace may be easy, but where to start on choosing the right one? The following are among the best tips for buying a new fireplace, sorted by fuel types, including wood, gas, pellets, and electricity.
EPA-approved wood-burning fireplaces are highly efficient, thanks to various technologies that have been revolutionary in transforming the way wood fireplaces operate. Modern fireplaces include glass doors, which means the pleasure of watching crackling fires isn’t lost. One option is to buy a pre-fab fireplace. Another option is to have a fireplace insert installed in your existing masonry fireplace or prefab fireplace. Both pre-fab fireplaces and inserts deliver wood-burning efficiency of 70% to 80% or more. Wood is the least expensive type of fuel, especially if you have your own property and opt to harvest and replant your own supply of firewood. Maintenance involved includes annual inspections and cleaning plus frequent ash removal.
Top Benefits of Wood Fireplaces
- The beloved ambiance of wood fires is part of the experience
- The woodsy scent that fills the home
- Lowest fuel costs
- Modern fireplaces burn firewood much more slowly and efficiently than masonry fireplaces
- Lower utility bills, when the fireplace helps provide the heat in winter
Environmentally conscious homeowners appreciate that natural gas is the cleanest burning type of fossil fuel, and it can be the best fuel for a fireplace. Busy families who benefit from convenience often choose gas fireplaces. Getting fires started in a gas fireplace is as simple as adjusting the thermostat or using a remote control. Models are available with blowers that help to disperse the heat more effectively. Gas fireplaces have an efficiency of 70% or more, meaning that at least 70% of the heat generated in the fireplace remains in the home, providing heat.
FyrePro has NFI-certified technicians who can install gas lines for use with a fireplace, if there isn’t gas in your home already. This step raises the cost of choosing a gas fireplace. Otherwise, gas fireplaces are low-cost options, compared to other fuel types. The level of efficiency of a gas fireplace can be significant if you zone heat. This means that you install gas fireplaces in various rooms of your home, turn off central heating, and heat only the room you are in. Wood fireplaces can also be used for zone heating, but switching from room to room is much more complicated.
Top Benefits of Gas Fireplaces
- Convenience of instantly switching the heat on and off
- There is an incredible range of styles to choose from
- A gas fireplace can provide a dramatically beautiful focal point
- Gas fireplaces can “burn” faux logs or display flames on elements such as rocks or colored glass
- Perfect for zone heating, to significantly cut heating costs
- Environmentally friendly
Pellet fireplaces provides convenience that competes with gas fuel, but pellets made with wood waste are burned, which means sustainable energy is used. Sawdust, wood chips, and bark are among the types of wood waste used to make highly compressed pellets for burning in pellet fireplaces. The pellets, which are about 1 ½” long, are poured into a hopper and slowly fed into a burn pot. You can see the fire in a pellet fireplace, but it has more of an intense appearance and not the quiet ambiance provided by burning firewood. Pellet fireplaces have been deemed smoke-free by the Environmental Protection Agency. They are incredibly efficient, leaving behind such a small amount of ash that cleaning out the ash is needed only sporadically. Efficiency ratings are as high as 90% or higher for pellet appliances. Although a small amount of electricity is required to operate a pellet stove, a back-up energy supply can be kept on-hand, in case of a blackout.
Top Benefits of Pellet Fireplaces
- Pellet fireplaces offer hands-free operation
- They are extremely friendly to the environment
- Storing pellets is easier than storing firewood
- The fuel used is wood waste that would otherwise be thrown away
Electric fireplaces are portable, and they simply plug in to operate. The heat provided is from heating coils. Some models have internal fans, which help to distribute the heat. There are no actual flames. Instead, there are simulated flames. You can turn on your electric fireplace and enjoy the faux flames while keeping the unit’s heat turned off. Because they use electricity, electric fireplaces are less environmentally friendly than other fuel types.
Top Benefits of Electric Fireplaces
- Electric fireplaces are easy to operate, needing nothing more than to be plugged in and turned on
- No venting is necessary
- Electric fireplaces are safest around pets and children
- Most cost-effective, as far as buying an electric fireplace, though the fuel itself is the most expensive
If you have any questions about buying a new fireplace, contact the friendly experts at FyrePro. You can stop by our destination showroom in Fort Collins CO, where many burning fireplaces are on display daily. Feel free to call us at (970) 266-8556 to learn more.