January 2017 — Given that we’re enjoying a particularly mild winter this year, the issue of a fireplace arises out of aesthetics versus necessity here in South Texas. Perhaps you just like to recreate the feeling of winter, as many experience farther North, but a fireplace can be that key element.
Whether you’re entertaining having a fireplace installed or looking for it as a feature in your next home, it is worth knowing the difference. There are several main categories in which most fireplaces fall; Wood Burning Fireplaces, Gas Burning, Ethanol Burning and Electric Fireplaces. Here are some basics for you to consider when weighting your options.
Wood Burning Fireplaces
Open Hearth Fireplace — These are typically built on site by a mason and lined with real firebrick. While the ambiance is unmistakable, the efficiency is low. Much of the heated air escapes through the flue, pulling directly from your home.
Fireplace Inserts — These are the most popular model. Fireplace inserts are units designed to fit inside an existing fireplace. They help the system burn and heat more efficiently, but they’re expensive and can be difficult to design.
Enclosed Fireplaces — While similar to inserts, in the sense that they are both enclosed, this type of fireplace is slightly different. Traditionally this type of fireplace features large glass paneling and is both efficient and beautiful.
Wood Burning Stoves — While not technically a fireplace, wood-burning stoves are a great alternative. We see them quite frequently in vintage style homes, or those set in the Hill Country style. This allows you to burn wood for heating while enjoying the crackling, comforting sound of
Gas Burning Fireplaces
Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces — These are vented through an existing or newly constructed chimney. Alternatively a pipe can be used to minimize changes to your home’s structure. With flexible options in placement, this is a much easier install than traditional wood fireplaces. This style also features a high efficiency rating that prevents warm air from being lost up the flue.
Ventless Built-In Fireplaces — The simplest to install this model does not require a chimney or a vent. With a signature blue flame due to the burning gas it does run the risk that some contaminant will enter your home.
Ethanol Burning Fireplaces
Ethanol Fireplace Conversion — If you have an existing fireplace but want to avoid the mess of soot and wood cleanup, this might be the right option for you. The ethanol burning insert will slide right in and make use of the space. A variety of styles are available to suit both modern and tradition tastes.
Wall Mounted Fireplaces — The perfect centerpiece for a living space or lounge area, this makes a great alternative hanging a television. If your home does not already come with a fireplace this is a super stylish way to add that decorative touch. This model with most likely not create as much heat, but they are more environmentally friendly.
Mantel & TV Stand Fireplaces — Mantel fireplaces allow you to enjoy the elegance of a traditional fireplace without the hassle of install or excessive expense. Most of them also enable you to turn on a heating function and have a variety of effects.
Electric fireplace TV stands allow you to incorporate both an entertainment center and a fireplace. These are less common but can be beneficial for those who live in smaller homes or apartments.
Have some insight about fireplaces or would like to be a guest writer on this topic? Email us at PR@CBHarper.com
Read more about fireplaces from these online resources:
Angie’s List: www.angieslist.com/articles/pros-and-cons-different-types-fireplaces.htm
Green Ethanol Fireplaces: www.greenethanolfireplaces.com/ethanol-fireplace-conversion-can-i-convert-my-fireplace-to-bioethanol
Ethanol Wall Mounted Fireplaces: www.ethanolfireplacepros.com/collections/wall-fireplaces
Electric Wall Mounted Fireplaces on Wayfair: www.wayfair.com/Wall-Mounted-Fireplaces-C215405.html