Let’s chat about fireplaces: electric, gas & wood-burning!
Let’s start with your original fireplace, Wood-Burning.
Wood-burning fireplaces are the classic open-form fireplace that brings that feeling of nostalgia. With this type of fireplace, it can easily convert into any other form of fireplace and vice-versa. Wood-burning requires the most maintenance of the three fireplaces, however, it is a reliable heat source during a power outage. A variety of logs can be used in this type of fireplace which alters the smell, look, and sound while burning.
Things to know:
- • To keep the fireplace looking nice, thorough cleaning after each use is recommended. You will also want the chimney to be cleaned on a yearly basis if using the fireplace regularly, making sure it’s operating safely.
- • Wood-burning fireplaces need time to get up and running, they also require an extensive cooling-off period.
- • Not the most child and pet-friendly option on the market, as burning embers will spit out occasionally. A screen placed in front of the fireplace will be needed.
- • Often considered to be inefficient, as half of the heat generated funnels out of the chimney with toxins from the fire such as smoke and carbon monoxide.
- • Backup supply of wood logs needed if used regularly.
- • Materials for a wood-burning fireplace run about $1,300 – $2,100 and installation runs another $700 – $1,500.
Moving on to Electric Fireplaces.
The most popular fireplace on the market is electric fireplaces, as they’re 100% efficient with the familiar look and feel of the wood-burning fireplace. This fireplace heats the air in the room by using a heating coil, which pulls in cool air and spits out warmer air. This type can be installed into an existing conventional fireplace or as an entire unit, as well as customized with a screen showing a burning flame.
Things to know:
- • Should the room become too warm, most electric fireplaces allow for a flame to continue while not putting out more heat.
- • This type of fireplace can be supplied with logs or coil to imitate the wood-burning look.
- • No cleanup, easy to install, remote access, and turns on and off instantaneously.
- • Doesn’t give the home the same nostalgic vibe as the classic wood-burning fireplace does.
- • As powered by electricity, they will not work during a power outage. Also poses the argument that it’s not the most environmentally friendly.
- • Won’t be able to heat areas in far ranges, just the room operated in.
- • Electric fireplaces cost about $0.15 per hour to run.
- • Materials run on the cheaper side for electric fireplaces at $100 – $2,200 with installation anywhere from $0 – $365.
Lastly, let’s discuss Gas Fireplaces.
Another extremely popular fireplace is a gas fireplace, often due to the more traditional look and ability to be freestanding, as well as inserted into an existing fireplace. Compared to all other types of fireplaces, gas has typically the highest heat output for the price. Very efficient, cleaner than wood-burning, often produces more heat, and easy flip-of-the-switch access.
Things to know:
- • Gas fireplaces can come in direct-vent or ventless forms; ventless does not require a vent or chimney and direct-vent utilizing a vent leading outside through an external wall.
- • If the house already contains a gas supply, this fireplace may be the best option.
- • Security features can be added to the fireplace for those more cautious such as timers for automatic shutdowns.
- • Newer models feature a battery starter to allow for use during a power outage.
- • A source of gas is required, such as natural gas or propane tank.
- • Any maintenance needed for the fireplace will need to be done by a professional.
- • Gas usage always poses a small risk of contaminants released into the home.
- • Natural gas costs about $0.70 per hour to run and propane costs about $2.30 per hour.
- • Materials for a vented gas fireplace run about $1,100 – $2,800 & installation runs about $2,500 – $2,800.