Feel the Burn: Choosing a Fireplace
Do you love the idea of a traditional wood fireplace or love the simplicity of the self-starter like gas or electric? Depending on your lifestyle and your budget, the type of fireplace you install could mean the difference between actually using it for warmth or burning with regret.
Each type comes with its own appeal, but they also have their downsides, so it’s important to do your research. You may even want to meet with a local custom home builder or a home renovation contractor before you make your choice, so ask around for referrals on companies who have great reputations for their work. They’ll be able to look at your home’s layout, listen to your concerns, and offer you great advice on what type will best suit you and be possible for your home.
Would Wood Warm Your Heart?
Wood-burning fireplaces might seem like they would be the most cost-effective route to go, but they can be more expensive to install and maintain. There are reasons for that: burning wood requires a ventilation system to route the smoke outside, so you’ll need a chimney or flue of some kind; and stockpiling enough wood can be costly, unless you fancy yourself a lumberjack and have access to a ready supply of trees. Health-wise, wood can be a bit of a concern. Burning wood produces carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, harmful VOCs, and a number of other particulates that can cause breathing complications like asthma and even promote cancer. Depending on where you live, it might be against local emission codes to have a wood-burning fireplace, due to the fact that all of those toxic fumes pollute the outside air once they leave your home through the chimney. House fires and burn injuries are another cause for concern with wood.
On the plus side, they leave the smallest carbon footprint, so if you’re trying to live mean and green, a wood-burning fireplace may be right up your alley. They offer a certain rustic charm and a bit of romance that some homeowners feel is well worth the hassle; and even though they take longer to start and require a large amount of patience, the high heat they offer and the cozy glow could be considered a fair trade-off.
Flipping the Switch with Gas and Electricity
For anyone looking to save time and money, the options available in gas and electric fireplaces leave the breathing a sigh of relief. Literally. Gas has the potential of leaking, but the risks are far less than those posed by a wood fireplace; and electric fireplaces produce no fumes at all. Chances of personal injury and house fires are minimized by both choices when they are properly installed; and both are extremely convenient, starting easily and heating quickly.
Gas systems will, of course, need proper ventilation; so if you’re not in love with the idea of installing a flue or chimney, electric fireplaces will likely be more appealing. In addition, electric fireplaces are the most inexpensive option and can be easily installed anywhere near an electrical outlet. Gas fireplaces require a bit more time and investment when it comes to actual installation, but running them is still far less expensive than a wood-burning fireplace; and they have the added incentive of being a source of higher heat than their electric counterparts. On the down-side, if you’re environmentally conscious, both gas and electric fireplaces may leave you out in the cold.
Keep the home fires burning with the fireplace of our dreams! Give the team at Omega Construction & Design, Inc., a call today!