A fireplace is a perfect addition to your home; it provides great ambiance and adds to the value of the property, says NFI Management in Milton. Fireplaces give a home character in ways that are not possible with other heating options. And its warmth and flames create a focal point for sharing meals and conversations.
But with several fireplace options in the market, choosing the right one can be tricky. You have to navigate the plethora of styles, the cost of the fireplace, how you want to use it, and choose one from all the available heat sources.
This guide simplifies the process of choosing the perfect fireplace for your home. It covers both function and aesthetics because how your fireplace looks is as important as how it performs.
The build of a fireplace determines how well it suits the needs of a home. There are several factors to consider. These are:
Open vs. closed combustion fireplace
The ambiance of an open fireplace is incomparable, but it is more demanding. Although most of the smoke from the fire escapes up the chimney, enough is left to make a home smell.
Also, up to 90% of the heat escapes up the chimney and after every fire, the fireplace needs to be cleaned out. A closed combustion system, on the other hand, is more expensive, but also more efficient. It uses less fuel and will heat up a room very fast. Furthermore, it can run on gas, wood, or electricity.
Chimney vs. Flue-less gas fireplace
A flue-less gas fireplace does need a conventional chimney because it has an exhaust pipe that be built into an external wall. This makes them more versatile and suitable for installation in modern apartments. If your home does not have the space for a traditional fireplace, this is a good option.
Built-in or freestanding fireplaces
If there is an existing hearth in the home, it may be easier to install an inset closed combustion fireplace in it. Otherwise, a freestanding fireplace is an option worth considering. They are more efficient than insets, even if they take up more space. Freestanding models offer more design options and can be installed in the middle of the floor, against a wall, in a corner, set on a stand, or suspended from the ceiling.
The size of a fireplace determines its output. Fireplace power output is measured in kilowatts (kW). To determine the right size of the fireplace for a room use this formula:
Height (m) x length (m) x width (m) of room x 0.07 = the number of kW
Fireplace Mantel Options
The mantel frames are one main decorative elements of the fireplace; it should be chosen with the overall room design in mind. The best mantel options are:
Wood mantels may come in solid timber or wooden base with wood veneer. Solid timber is more expensive and each piece gives a unique appearance. Wooden veneer offers more control over the room design.
Natural stone mantels can come in marble, limestone, granite, and several other types of stone. Stone mantelpieces can also come with a wide variety of finishes. They are relatively easy to maintain and can be used with all fuel types.
Cast iron is the metal most commonly used for fireplace mantels, but there are other metal options. Metal mantels are versatile and can be used in both traditional and contemporary designs.
Fireplace heat source
The heat source is usually the first thing homeowners ask about when they start shopping for a fireplace. The issues to consider are safety, authenticity, and heat efficiency.
Wood-burning is what fireplaces have always been. The sight, smell, and sound of an open fire are some of the reasons people still love wood-burning fireplaces. They also put you in control of your fuel source; as long as you have kindling, wood, and a matchstick, you can have a fire; even during power outages.
Wood is relatively cheap, but it does require moving and storing. Wood-burning fireplaces also need time to warm a room. They lose most of the heat they generate and require constant attention. That is unless it is a closed combustion fireplace.
Gas fireplaces are convenient; they can be turned on instantly and generate a lot of heat in a matter of minutes. They also afford you more control over the amount of heat they produce and need very little care. But even though gas fireplaces can be designed to look like a traditional fireplace, they lack the realistic effect of a log fire. And they need to have a gas line installed.
Generally, electric fireplaces do not generate as much heat as wood or gas fireplaces. They are best for small tight spaces where a lot of heat is not needed. They are very easy to install. But their biggest drawback is they will not work if there is a power outage. And just like gas fireplaces, even though they have a fake flame, it does not feel like the real thing.
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