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Fireplaces: Which One is for Me?

As we say goodbye to the last warm days of fall, we get ready to face the cold midwest winter. For as long as I can remember, fireplaces were a sign of time with family, warmth, and a cozy atmosphere. This week we are going to talk about the main types of fireplaces you could have in your home, as well as the pros and cons of each!

1. The Gas Fireplace

The main purpose of a fireplace is to give you that cozy warm feel. But there is so much more to consider when it comes to selecting what type of fireplace you want in your home. A gas fireplace will provide the perfect amount of heat to give you the right feel, while also being as simple as the flip of a switch to light, and so easy to maintain. While the classic wood burning fireplace tends to be people's initial choice, it is important to consider the convenience of a gas fireplace. Gas fireplaces eliminate the need for wood, the getting up constantly to add wood, and you can count on consistent heat the whole time it is on. They are also a more eco-friendly option, as they create no ash or creosote, if you are hoping to take that into consideration when making a decision. But of course, alongside any pros, there are always some cons. Though they may heat up quickly, they cool down just as fast the moment they are off, where your traditional wood burning fireplace holds heat for longer, even once the fire has died down. It also means you are sacrificing that natural crackle and hiss you get from a wood burning fireplace, which for some is half the joy of it. These are all things to consider as you decide whether a gas fireplace is the right choice for you!

2. The Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplaces are known to be the most cost effective fireplace option. They are also easy to install, as well as typically having more customizable settings so you can keep the flames on, but turn the heat off if the room gets too warm. Most of them come with a remote, so you can adjust your fireplace settings without having to get up off that cozy couch. Electric Fireplaces are also a great option for those of us who are looking to save on space. Wall Mounted or slimline electric fireplaces will only come out 6-10 inches from the wall! They are also made in every style imaginable, so it is easy to find one that matches the already existing decor in your home. Installation is usually as simple as taking it out of its box, and plugging it in. But on the flip side, an electric fireplace does not produce real flames, and to some this is enough to look into other options. Heating wise, they typically produce the same amount of heat as a small space heater. For some this is enough, but for others looking for a stronger source of heat, an electric fireplace won’t cut it. Something else one may want to consider is electric fireplaces will not work if there is a power outage. But if you are looking for a convenient, cost effective fireplace option, an electric fireplace might just be for you!

3. The Ethanol Fireplace

As I started researching to write this resource post, I began learning for the first time about ethanol fireplaces. I had come across them on other industry partners pages, intrigued but never diving deeper. As I continued my research my mind was blown by how epic of an option these are! Bio-ethanol fuel burns clean, due to it being a natural substance, and because it burns clean it leaves no residue. This means you give it a quick wipe down a few times a year, and you’re good to go! They come in a wide variety of styles, including table top versions, or inserts that you can put into an old fireplace opening. They also require no venting whatsoever, so wherever you want it, you can have it. You have to be cautious though when it comes to the airflow in the room, as an ethanol fireplace uses the oxygen in the room it is in. A properly vented room will not have any problems housing one though. They also aren't going to be the strongest source of heat, but will heat the general area they are in just fine. If you're looking for a unique, clean, odorless, and eco-friendly fireplace option, ethanol might be the way to go!

4. The Wood Burning Fireplace

Last but definitely not least is the classic wood burning fireplace. This is what most of us picture in our heads when we hear the word fireplace, and for all the right reasons. There is nothing quite like the peaceful crackle, the smell of burning wood, and the warmth of a natural wood burning fireplace. The biggest perk of a wood burning fireplace is the atmosphere it creates. While some gas fireplaces can still be used without electricity, a wood burning fireplace means regardless of the circumstances, you will always have a source of heat in your home. Then there are the cons. You will need wood, and lots of it! Whether this means you are chopping wood regularly, or buying wood locally, this creates an extra step in your fire starting process. Wood burning fireplaces are definitely the most high maintenance as well. They require regular cleaning which includes cleaning out the ashes, and getting your chimney swept. But for many, the extra work it takes to have a wood burning fireplace is more than worth it.

These are just a few things to consider when selecting a fireplace for your home. Each type has many subtypes, and there are pros and cons to all of them. While there may be many things to consider, any fireplace will give you that cozy feel as the days get colder, and the nights get longer. Which fireplace would you choose for your home?

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