7 Things to Consider Before Buying a Fireplace

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A fireplace is a wonderful way to create a cosy and warm atmosphere. On a cold and windy evening there is nothing better than to sit before a crackling fire, wine in hand and feel the warmth of the dancing flames. Fireplaces represent a romantic idea of what winter can be. Although installing a fireplace into an existing home may be more complicated than it seems. You first have to decide what sort of fireplace you are interested in. There are many different types of fireplaces available today. These vary greatly in the type of fuel they use, the amount of heat they produce, the cost and the design. Before deciding which fireplace is for you, consider what fireplace will best suit your house. Many fireplaces require an extensive flue system to be installed, which may be unsuitable for certain houses.  homify has done the research and come up with the 7 most important things to consider before buying a fireplace.

​What Budget Do You Have?

When choosing a fireplace for your home it is important to consider the budget. The budget must include not just the initial costs of purchasing and installing the fireplace, but also the future running costs of these fireplaces. A wood burning fireplace may involve a large initial outlay to construct the fireplace and chimney. The running costs may be low, depending on where you can access adequate firewood. Pellet fireplaces can have a high initial outlay and installation cost, although the pellets are relatively economical to purchase. Gas fireplaces are less expensive than a wood fire or pellet stove, although the running costs may be higher, depending on the variable costs of gas. Electric fireplaces are the most economical fireplaces to purchase. Depending on how much they are used, they can be very economical to run. Bioethanol fireplaces are the most expensive of these fireplaces.

​Which Source of Energy Will You Use?

One of the most important considerations to make when choosing a fireplace is the energy source. There are five main types of fireplaces available; wood, pellet, gas, electric or bioethanol. A wood fire is the traditional type of fireplace, it burns natural wood. Pellet stoves can look similar to a wood stove, although they burn pellets. Pellets are made from compressed wood or biomass pellets, which is essentially a waste product. This makes them a more environmentally friendly alternative. An electric fireplace runs on, as you would expect, electricity. Bioethanol fireplaces run on bioethanol. Bioethanol is a clean burning fuel made from an alcohol produced by fermenting carbohydrates. When considering which type of energy souce will be best for your fireplace consider the availability of these energy sources.

​How Much Heat Do You Need?

The type of fireplace that is best for your house may depend on how much heat you will need. Will you need a large amount of heat for a large space, or will the fireplace be located in a small cosy room. Wood fireplaces, although they look impressive do not produce a large amount of heat. A surprising amount of heat is lost through the chimney. Pellet fireplaces produce an impressive amount of heat for their small size as they burn at a much higher temperature than wood fireplaces. Gas stoves provide one of the most efficient way of heating an average living space. Electric fireplaces are very easy to use, although the heat they produce is limited to the immediate vicinity of the fireplace. Bioethanol may be the cleanest fuel to use, although they do not produce as much heat as a gas fireplace.

​What Flue System Will You Need?

Depending on the type of fireplace you choose you may or may not need to install a flue system. If you choose a wood fireplace, be aware that you will need to install a chimney. This may involve more work than you think. Pellet stoves can look on the outside remarkably similar to a wood burning stove. They also require a flue to be installed. This is not as intrusive as a chimney, although still involves some major alterations. A gas fireplace is an easy fireplace to install, requiring only a pvc piping flue system. Although this may involve connecting to gas if you are not already connected. Electric fireplaces are the easiest to install. They require only an electrical outlet. Bioethanol fireplaces are the easiest to install. They require no flue or chimney, no electricity and no gas connection.


For many of these fireplaces it is important to have adequate ventilation in the space you are heating. Inadequate ventilation can cause people to become unwell and dizzy. A wood burning fireplace has a chimney for the smoke. The majority of these fireplace are self contained and therefore they do not allow smoke to be released into the room. Pellet stove, similar to wood stoves have a chimney like flue that allows gasses to be release directly outside the building. The majority of gas fireplaces have a vent which releases gasses directly outside. There are also ventless insert gas heaters, which do not require a vent. These can sometimes produce exhaust fumes into the space. These can cause problems for those with respiratory issues.  Bioethanol fireplaces are clean burning, producing no smoke or exhaust fumes.


Wood burning fireplaces have been around for hundreds of years. The were the first fireplaces invented. When alternative forms of fireplaces were produced they based their design on the established wood burning fireplace designs. These were often made from iron, stone or marble; the materials that were available at the time. Today there are many designs of fireplaces available. There are designs based on the traditional styles made from dark detailed iron, marble and stone. There are also more modern designs. These are based on a minimalist and modern style. They are sleek, smooth and stylish. For these styles, stone and marble are the most popular materials. Modern styles of fireplaces are unlimited, due mainly to the fewer restrictions on electric and bioethanol type fireplaces. This clever television fireplace is a great example. This is made by Komagura in Japan. 

A fireplace is a wonderful addition to any home. It brings not only an atmosphere of cosiness and warmth, but can increase the value and appeal of your house. Before choosing a fireplace for your home there are a number of considerations to make. It is important to choose the right fireplace for your home. Consider the type of fuel you want to use, the area that you need to heat, any alterations required for the building to allow for a chimney or flue, the costs involved with the initial purchase as well as ongoing costs and most importantly the design of the fireplace. For more inspiration see. Its Time to Make Your Living Room Cosier

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