Everyone should have their own special memories of sitting in front of a fireplace, being mesmerized by the beautiful dancing flames. One of the best ways to make a cool evening both cozy and memorable is to include a crackling fire that burns for several hours. But perhaps your fireplace is due for an update; here are a few thoughts on updated fireplaces.
The most popular materials used for fireplaces include marble, brick and stone, each offering a completely different look and feel. Choose the one that best complements your interior design. Do you prefer to burn real wood or artificial wood? Or perhaps you would like a gas fireplace. Note: These factors may also depend upon your locale’s fireplace permitting ordinances, so make sure to check these before proceeding.
Some additional indoor fireplace options include masonry heaters and traditional masonry fireplaces, natural gas and propane fireplaces, and freestanding “fireplace substitute” wood stoves. The freestanding wood stoves are made of stone, cast iron, or plate steel and may be installed without any major construction effort. All they require are a chimney, heat-resistant floor material, and adequate clearances between the stove and any nearby combustible materials.
Traditional wood-burning fireplaces are generally made of masonry. But, perhaps more important is whether a fireplace is energy efficient and clean-burning. Clean-burning fireplaces burn wood efficiently to reduce creosote buildup and emissions of environmental pollutants such as Oxides of Nitrogen and particulate matter. Models that are EPA-certified produce less than 7.5 grams of particulate per hour. If you require plenty of heat, the clean-burning or EPA-certified fireplaces are the best choice.
You should probably plan to visit a fireplace showroom to select the best fireplace model for your heating needs and aesthetic preferences. And, while you’re at it, be on the lookout for fireplace tools, wood carrying and storage units, mantels and chimney accessories to go along with your new fireplace. Enjoy!
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