Have you been thinking that a fireplace would make a great amenity for your home? If so, there are a few options you should consider and choices you need to make in order to satisfy your heating needs and aesthetic tastes while staying within your budget.
This is an important initial decision because it can dictate the type of fuel your new fireplace can use. A wood-burning fireplace will need a chimney and must be built in a part of the home that’s approved by your local building and fire codes (see below). Gas fireplaces with a venting system give you more flexibility as to placement. Non-vented gas units can be set up just about anywhere within the home.
In some jurisdictions, chimney height and fireplace emissions levels may have to conform to written code standards. There also may be restrictions on where within your home certain types of fireplaces can be installed. If your neighborhood has a homeowners association or if you own a condo, you’ll need to see if the entity that oversees your property has guidelines for installing a new fireplace.
If applicable based on the above, you’ll need to decide what kind of fuel your fireplace will use. Wood and gas are the most popular fuel types, and here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of each:
Wood: For a traditional, beautiful look nothing beats a wood-burning fireplace. Wood is a relatively inexpensive fuel source, but burning wood creates smoke that leaves creosote deposits on the chimney liner, necessitating regular cleaning. Wood fireplaces can also be a great heat source if you choose a unit with a high BTU output.
Gas: With gas (natural or propane) you have easy starting, instant heat and thermostatic control. Depending on where you live, gas may be a little pricier than wood, but you may consider the time saved as money saved by having to do very little maintenance and cleaning. As a heating appliance, a gas fireplace is a great choice.
Particularly if you’re considering a gas unit for heating purposes, check the BTU specs on models you like to make sure they’re neither too weak nor too powerful for the room. By matching the square footage of your room to the fireplace manufacturer’s recommendations, you’ll end up with an appliance that perfectly suits your needs.
These considerations should get you started planning for a new fireplace. Your best source for additional information is a reputable, experienced fireplace retailer, who can help you better understand various fuel types, fireplace styles, construction requirements and heating efficiency.
Inglenook Fireplaces of Conifer, Colo., can help you with all this and more when it’s time to purchase a new fireplace for your home. Visit us at 26731 Main St., or give us a call at (303) 838-3612.