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Types of Fireplaces

Types of Fireplaces

In times of winter season and cold weather, it is very welcoming to have a fireplace and a cup of cocoa or coffee to keep you warm and cozy. Nothing beats the sound of crackling flames while you spend time indoors and outdoors with your closest friends and family. This is one of the main reasons why a lot of people chose to have a fireplace in their homes, whether indoors and/or outdoors.

What are Fireplaces

Fireplaces, also called hearth, have been around for years and dates back from the Middles Ages where fireplaces are the main source of warmth in a house or a castle. They are also used for cooking and heating water. In those times, fireplaces are commonly made from bricks and stone and some from metal which was rare and expensive.

These days, fireplaces are usually used for decor, aesthetics, and also warmth in times of cold weather. And they are a great addition to any home --- indoor or outdoor --- and businesses.

Types of Fireplaces

With continuous progressing technology, comes with different variations of fireplaces to make sure you get the best one that will fit your decor and aesthetic. Also, when choosing the type of fireplace for your home or businesses, you have to keep in mind the placement and where you will install the fireplace. Here are the main types of fireplaces to choose from:

Wood-Burning Fireplaces

This is the most traditional type of fireplace. The main source of heat comes from burning wood. Therefore, you will need a lot of wood and store logs to keep the hearth going. Maintaining wood-burning fireplaces is a bit hard and requires a lot of effort. You will also need a chimney and always clean and remove the ashes from your fireplace.

Gas Fireplaces

Gas fireplaces are a great replacement for wood-burning ones. Also, they both use chimneys to vent the smoke. They use natural gas to produce heat instead of wood. 

Ventless gas fireplaces come in various environmental-friendly features. They do not need a vent, pipe, or chimneys. The downside of this ventless gas fireplace is it can emit few contaminants in your home or business which is very risky even though most of the time they burn clean.

Gel Fireplaces

This type of fireplace is the most uncommon one. Gel fireplaces use a gel as a fuel source. They are very easy to install and do not weigh a lot so it is easy to move around. No need for chimneys, pipes, vents, and extra electrical wiring as well. To start a fire, all you need is a lighter. The fire it produces is real but they do not produce a lot of heat and warmth. But they are great for decor and aesthetics!

Ethanol Fireplaces

Ethanol fireplaces are like gel fireplaces but the fuel source is liquid bioethanol instead of gel. This type of fireplace usually comes with a burner where you can fill with bioethanol and easily refill it as well. You can easily adjust the temperature of this fireplace not like wood-burning and gas fireplaces. But if you are looking for a main source of heat for your home, ethanol fireplace is not the one for you. Just like gel fireplaces, they are more for decorations and not warmth.

Electric Fireplaces

Possibly the 2nd most common type of fireplace, the electric fireplace help increase the temperature inside your home by heating the inner coils. Most electric fireplaces have fans to distribute heat throughout your homes and business. But they do not have real flames. Some electric fireplaces have flickering fake flames, some even with fake logs for decoration purposes and to make it look like a real traditional fireplace. 

If you really want an electric fireplace in your home or business, an efficient infrared electric fireplace can be the one for you.

Electric fireplaces are great for people who want a fireplace but on a budget. They do not require a venting system and much cheaper to install. Also, they do not require a lot of cleaning!

Pros and Cons of Each Type of Fireplaces

Each type of fireplace has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few of them to help you choose the right one for your home, room, space, or businesses:

 Pros Cons
Wood-Burning Fireplaces
  • Renewable Heat Source
  • Affordable Fuel - Wood
  • Great Aesthetic 
  • Needs a Lot of Cleaning
  • Requires a Chimney to Vent
  • You Need to Store Logs
  • A Lot of Maintenance
  • Needs Proper Installation
  • Fireplace Needs Annual Professional Inspection
Gas Fireplaces
  • Gas is Cheaper than Wood
  • Proper Thermal Power
  • Easy-to-Use
  • Flexible and Easier Installation Process
  • Flame is Controllable
  • Fuel Costs is Always Rising
  • Needs Propane or Natural Gas Connection
Gel Fireplaces
  • No Smoke or Fumes
  • Produces Real Flames
  • No Location Restriction
  • No Ventilation Needed
  • Cost-Efficient
  • Little to No Maintenance Needed
  • Looks Nice
  • Doesn't Emit Much Heat
  • Needs Frequent Refueling
  • No Flame Regulation
  • Gel Fuel is Hard to Extinguish
  • Can't be Your Main Source of Heat
Ethanol Fireplaces
  • No Ventilation Needed
  • Ethanol Burns Clean
  • Leaves No Residue
  • Less Cleaning
  • No Carbon Dioxide Emissions
  • Looks Nice
  • Handling Fuel Can be Hazardous
  • Doesn't Emit Much Heat
  • Can't be Your Main Source of Heat
  • Needs Adequate Oxygen Flow
Electric Fireplaces
  • Easy Installation
  • No Ventilation Needed
  • Leaves No Residue
  • No Cleaning
  • No Production of Ashes or Smoke
  • Ideal for Homes, Hotels, Apartments, and Small Rooms/Spaces
  • Looks Nice
  • No Real Flickering Flame
  • Less Heating Efficiency
  • Mostly for Decorative Purposes

Choosing the best fireplace based on your aesthetic and decorations can be very tricky. Always consider the installation process, how complicated it is and the placement of your fireplace. Some fireplace, like wood-burning ones, can be the hardest one to install because you will need a lot of construction for it --- a chimney, the fireplace itself, and the place where you store your logs. 

Also, consider the main use of your fireplace. If you are looking for a heat source, gel, ethanol, and electric fireplaces do not produce a lot of heat. But if you are just looking for decoration, all of these types of fireplaces will look great. Look at the styles available for each type to make sure you get the perfect one for your home, space, room, patio, and/or businesses. There are contemporary, modern, and even traditional designs available in the market. 

Whatever fireplace you choose, always remember the safety of your loved ones is the most important thing to think about. You need to be extra careful whenever you deal with fire. Make sure your fireplace is installed by professionals. This might be costly but your safety and family are at risk here if your fireplace is not installed properly. It is always better to be safe.

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