A Fireplace Buyer's Guide

A Fireplace Buyer's Guide

A fireplace is a wonderful addition to any home. Not only will a fireplace save you money, it adds to the value should you ever decide to sell the house. Whether you want a wood or gas system, the ideal unit provides warmth and beauty while safely containing the fire. Check out this fireplace buyer's guide for the basics to start the decision-making process.

Safety First

The most beautiful fireplace in the world isn't worth owning unless it's safe. Wood burning fireplaces are ideal if you want a rustic feel for your home, but they have their own safety requirements. Make sure the model has an easy-to-close flue and ample chimney space. Not only does the smoke need to escape through the top, it's important that animals won't get caught in the chimney.

For a gas unit, choose a model that is lab-certified and meets local gas fireplace codes. It is preferable approved by the American Gas Association. If you plan to put your new fireplace in a bedroom instead of a living room or you live in a high elevation, make sure the model meets those requirements. Whether you want to use natural gas or propane, you'll need an exterior line to connect it safely to the fuel source.

Direct-Vent or Vent-Free Gas Units

Most direct-vent models feature a continuously-burning pilot light. It is ready to start the burner as soon as the gas is on. They have safety features that shut the gas off immediately if there is no pilot light. These models require a chimney for eliminating fumes, which means extra time and installation work to complete. One positive to a direct-vent unit is it resembles a classic fireplace.

Vent-free models, on the other hand, rely on an oxygen-depletion sensor. If the level drops too low, the sensor shuts the gas off. The biggest advantage to vent-free models is that they don't need a chimney since they use higher temperatures to burn up the fumes. Installation time is typically shorter as well. Add a mantle in a stone or wood finish for the finishing touch.

All the Extras

Think about what you want the fireplace to look like in your home. Color, size and style all factor into the final look. Brick, stone and glass enclosures are popular finishing choices. Multiple options are available to fit any decor and budget. Free-standing units, for example, have the appearance of built-in mantels but require little or no construction. Wall-mounted versions are ideal for both indoors and outdoors. Mantels are optional for this style so you can choose your own accents.

Ready to Look? We're Here to Help

This fireplace buyer's guide gives you the basics to take the next step. Whether you know the fireplace you want or have no idea where to begin, Emberside can help. Talk with a fireplace specialist at Emberside today for more information. Our friendly team will walk you through every part of the process to decide which fireplace is right for you.


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