The Different Fireplace Types and Purposes.
There is an array of different types of fireplaces, ranging from electric and wood to various gas options. Just as each has its own distinct design characteristics, they can also serve different purposes too. There’s no denying that a home’s fireplace provides a source of heat, but it also becomes a focal point as well as enhances the aesthetics of a space. So, whether you’re searching for a new home or planning to renovate an existing one, be sure the fireplace you choose suits your needs. Check out the following guide to help you decide.
An electric fireplace can offer the cozy ambiance of traditional wood or coal-burning fireplace without the upkeep. Quite often during renovations, people will replace an old-style fireplace with an electric one. This not only eliminates the fumes and hands-on work, but it also provides an easy plug-in, low-maintenance alternative. With an electric fireplace, you will still enjoy the calming appearance, and depending on a unit’s features, flame-like effects can be changed and the heating function can be turned on and off, making it possible to enjoy year-round.
In addition to the low maintenance, some electric fireplaces, such as the mantel, TV stand, and entertainment styles work well in small spaces or when there’s no chimney or venting access in a home.
Gas fireplaces are a popular alternative to wood. While gas fireplaces do still produce smoke and require a properly vented chimney just as real wood fireplaces, there is less work required. For instance, as lovely as a wood-burning fire is, it’s much more difficult to maintain a steady flame and temperature in comparison to gas – which is easily controlled by a switch.
When opting for a gas fireplace, you can choose between gas logs and gas inserts.
● Gas Logs provide similar warmth and glow to that of wood, but without the hassle of smoke, soot, and work. Usually constructed of ceramic, gas logs look almost identical to real wood.
● Gas Inserts often replace standard wood fireplaces. Just as the term implies, the gas insert is installed in a new or existing fireplace and vented through the chimney. It is a great alternative to wood if you prefer the look of a real wood fireplace without the need to haul bundles of wood and stoke the fire.
Without question, the wood-burning fireplace is the original and for many, there is no substitute. While the other fireplace types certainly offer convenience and a sense of coziness, it’s hard to compete with that wood-burning smell and heart-humbling warmth of a crackling fire.
Unlike gas and electric fireplaces, the classic wood version doesn’t increase those utility bills. Of course, there’s the expense of wood, whether it costs you money or time and effort, but once you have that supply of wood, you have a source of heat that not only warms the home but can be used for cooking too – a definite plus during a power outage. The only other thing to worry about is finding a chimney inspector.
As you can see, the different fireplace options all provide a source of heat, past that, you must decide what other aspects best suit your needs and desires.
Don’t Forget to Have Your Chimney Inspected!
Finally, whether you’re considering installing a fireplace or renovating an existing one, it’s crucial to your safety that the chimney is properly vented and maintained. Contact Albany Chimney Inspections to schedule your annual inspection before cranking up that fireplace! Serving the Albany and Saratoga areas, Albany Chimneys focuses only on providing detailed inspections. Unlike other chimney inspection companies that also offer repairs, you can count on unbiased and totally honest reports and recommendations from Albany Chimneys.
Adam C Clark
Owner & Operator,
Shield Guard Home Inspections LLC
45 Parkwood St Albany NY, 12208
NYS LICENSE #16000091657
NYS MOLD # 0321