Your Guide to the Different Types of Fireplaces on the Market


Are you planning on buying a new fireplace for your home? This is a wise decision. A fireplace can heat your home while also offering a greater degree of aesthetic appeal than a traditional HVAC system offers.

However, you need to understand that there are many different types of fireplaces from which to choose. No one option is universally “better” than all others. Each type of fireplace offers its own unique benefits.

This guide will offer some basic information to help you better understand your options. While you may want to conduct additional research before making a purchase, the following points can begin guiding you in the right direction.

Wood Burning Fireplace

A wood burning fireplace is a reliable option that often appeals to those who prefer fireplaces that offer a sense of rustic charm. Wood burning fireplaces emit few pollutants when compared to some other types, and they allow you to continue heating your home even during power outages.

That said, you may need to have a reliable wood supplier in your area to affordably own and run a wood burning fireplace. You might also have to stack and split the logs yourself. Consider this when deciding whether this type of fireplace is right for you.

Electric Fireplace

An electric fireplace is a fireplace that resembles a traditional wood burning one, complete with graphics that remind one of actual flames. However, an electric fireplace doesn’t genuinely create heat with fire. It’s more akin to a space heater.

This type of fireplace doesn’t require you to buy wood or another source of fuel for a fire. It can also be safer than a wood burning fireplace. This is particularly true if you have pets or small children.

That said, it’s important to be aware that electric fireplaces typically aren’t designed to serve as the main source of heat for a home. The degree of heat they generate is minimal, and the heat is usually confined to a small area. Thus, an electric fireplace might not be the ideal option if you’re looking for a fireplace that will heat your home.

Ethanol Fireplaces

Some homeowners purchase ethanol fireplaces because they don’t leave behind any messy ashes once a fire has been extinguished, they don’t give off harmful emissions, and they don’t require venting.

Just be aware that, like an electric fireplace, an ethanol fireplace isn’t meant to be the main source of heat in your home. You also must consider safety issues when running an ethanol fireplace. Those who choose this option often do so because they want something that looks more realistic than an electric fireplace.

Gas Fireplaces

A fireplace that connects to your natural gas line is easier to use and maintain than a wood burning fireplace. It’s also fairly eco-friendly. However, some people prefer the visual appeal of a wood burning fireplace. Additionally, you will need a natural gas hookup to use this type of fireplace.

Propane Fireplaces

Propane fireplaces are relatively similar to natural gas fireplaces in that they are easy to use and much less messy than wood burning fireplaces. However, propane is sourced from non-renewable resources. As such, its price can fluctuate, and it is often fairly expensive.

Again, none of this is meant to suggest there’s one type of fireplace that’s best for all homeowners. You need to carefully consider your options when making a decision. Hopefully, this guide has at least helped you start thinking about which type of fireplace you’d like to purchase.

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