A Complete Buyers Guide To Fireplaces

Gas Fireplaces vs. Wood Stoves

When they want to use the fireplace as a source of heat, many homeowners opt to use gas fireplaces over those that burn wood or use electricity. The reason for this is that the gas fireplaces are cleaner, safer and easier to use than the other kinds. If you already have a fireplace, you don’t have to do extensive renovations by tearing out the fireplace and installing a new one. All you need to do is purchase a gas fireplace insert.

The insert you buy can transform your wood-burning fireplace to one that burns gas. When you have a gas fireplace you only have to flick the switch to get it started and you can easily control the temperature with the controls that are included. The gas is connected through a line to the tank outside and the fumes vent through a special chimney.

 

Gas Fireplaces vs. Wood Stoves

 

There are many models of gas fireplaces for you to choose from. The look of the exterior can be an accent to any room of your home and provide the much-needed heat. You can have the fireplaces done with brick or tile in any color you want to provide the look and feel of an old fashioned fireplace. You can also have wooden exteriors with gorgeously routed mantels where you can proudly display your collectibles or the pictures of your family. Some of the types of wood used for these fireplaces include cherry, oak, and pine. Beyond that, there are many stain variations that can be specified which will give your mantel an even more distinctive look.

With gas fireplaces, you do not lose any of the heat. This is a common problem with wood-burning fireplaces because the heat escapes up the chimney. The gas fireplace is extremely fuel-efficient and is not expensive to purchase. If, on the other hand, you want a gas fireplace that is purely for decoration, then you can also buy inserts in which the grille is hidden or decorated in some way.

There are corner gas fireplaces that sit unobtrusively in the corner of the room. These fireplaces give you more room along the walls for other furniture and like other models, they come in natural vent, direct vent or vent-free models. The vent-free models can be installed anywhere you want in a room because they do not need to be connected to a chimney. However, you do have to careful when you purchase this kind of fireplace because the fire codes of some cities do not allow them to be used. If a fire does occur as a result of the ventless fireplace, your homeowner’s insurance might not cover the damages if it is not permitted by local building or fire codes.

 

Fireplace & Stove Buyer’s Guide

Stone fireplaces, you’re interested in buying a fireplace for your home? Welcome to the Internet’s independent source for information about gas fireplaces, wood stoves, and pellet stoves.

We don’t sell fireplaces or accessories which allows us to provide you with unbiased information. We don’t want you to buy a fireplace or accessory unless it is right for you! So pull up a chair next to the fire and browse our site for a while.

First, decide which type of fireplace is right for you. There are several types available including gas fireplaces, fireplace inserts, wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, and electric fireplaces. Most gas fireplaces are available as a direct vent while some are ventless.

Many reputable companies manufacture fireplaces and stoves. Some of the most popular include Fireplace Xtraordinair, Jotul, Lopi, Majestic Fireplaces, Quadra-Fire, Regency Fireplaces, and Vermont Castings.

After you’ve chosen the fireplace design that suits your tastes, you should select a mantel. If you’ve chosen a wood-burning model, you’ll also need a screen and several tools. You may also want to consider an outdoor fireplace for outside enjoyment.

 


 

Buying and Caring For a Wood Burning Fireplace

Everyone is aware of the advantages of having a wood-burning fireplace and this is not necessarily for the main reason that comes to mind: heat. There is the notion that a wood-burning fireplace comes with the idea of romance and warmth for the soul not to mention the added value to your home if you decide to sell.

Things To Know Before Lighting Your Fireplace This Year

You go to bed one night with the air conditioning on and wake up in the brisk morning air feeling the need to light up the fireplace. Before you strike the match there are some things you have to do. Probably after last winter you were so excited that spring was here you totally and quickly forgot about your fireplace. Now, like many homeowners, you have to deal with it if you hope to enjoy it on those cold blustery nights with the wind blowing snow against the windows and all you want to do is snuggle down in front of your wood-burning fireplace.

 

Buying and Caring For a Wood Burning Fireplace

 

The best thing to do to get your wood-burning fireplace back in shape is to call a professional chimney cleaner. Of course, the best time to call these people is in the spring or summer, but seeing you have likely missed both of these seasons (because like most of us you’ve procrastinated) you will have to do it in the fall. Cleaning your chimney is your best defense against a chimney fire. The best thing to do is set up regular times to have your chimney cleaned with the professionals and then you don’t have to worry about remembering. Also, remember to check your smoke detectors and your carbon monoxide detector to get ready for the big event of that first wood-burning fire.

When the professionals arrive to make sure you discuss the inspection procedure and there are some things that need to be done each year. This checklist can be a bit long and you may be a little apprehensive about the total cost, but when this is stacked against what could happen if it isn’t done then the bill won’t seem quite as important. If you get this done by a professional on a regular basis, then it will be just a routine cleaning of your wood-burning fireplace and will save you money in the long term.

So all is done now and you can light that first fire in your wood-burning fireplace knowing that you have done all you can to keep you and your family safe. You will enjoy the contentment of the knowledge that everything is looked after. Snuggle down and stare at those flames as they flicker gently against the glass doors and dream of a time that was a little warmer not so long ago.

 

Wood Stove Basics: What You Should Know

Wood stoves can be a great alternative to our heating problems with the rising cost of electricity and stove oil in today’s market. Along with wood burning, there also are some very important things a person should know about using this form of heating. If this is done properly you will enjoy many hours of safe and warm heating from a wood stove in your home, especially in climates that have very cold winters.

Of course, with any source of heating, safety must come first. If you’re switching your heating to wood, then you should be aware of a few things you should do. If your wood stove leaves the smell of smoke in your home, then you will find that it is not vented properly. When you have your chimney put up get professionals to do it and get it inspected. If you are in an area where there are no professional inspectors, then ask your local fire department to check it out.

You will only get out of your wood stove what you put into it and this means that you should use your wood efficiently and safely. Do not use such things as charcoal or liquid starters to get your fire going. These are very dangerous and should not be used under any circumstances. The best way to start a fire safe is to use a newspaper rolled into a ball and place this in your stove with some dry wood chips on top. Once this is burning and you have some hot coals at the bottom, then add some well-dried wood. It is very important that the wood is split and dried. This usually means that wood that’s been cut the year before will make excellent burning firewood.

When you first light your wood stove is usually the time that it will be the smokiest. During this, you should have your draft wide open to make sure the smoke escapes from your home via the chimney. It may seem like you’re letting all the heat go up the chimney, but in order to get a fire going that is going to produce heat it is the only way to do it. You have to get a clean flame going before it will produce the kind of heat you want. This first heat primes the chimney and gives it a draft and helps to keep the chimney clean.

 

Wood Stove Basics: What You Should Know

 

The best fire you can have going is hot and has no smell of smoke inside and very little outside. If there is dark smoke coming from your chimney this means that your wood stove is not burning properly. This can lead to creosote forming inside your chimney and if this builds up enough it can lead to a chimney fire. This is usually caused by sticky wood that is allowed to smolder without enough air to flame it. One precaution you can take when creosote builds up is to clean your chimney. To be on the safe side make sure you do this periodically.

To clean your wood stove make sure that you don’t let dead ashes pile up inside. Ashes should be removed regularly and placed in an outdoor metal container. Always store these ashes away from your home in a safe area; it is a precaution that could save your life. Always be aware of what is around your stove inside your home. It is better to have your wood stove in a clear area with nothing around it that can catch on fire. A fire extinguisher is an absolute necessity in the area where your stove is and don’t forget your smoke detectors.

 

Save Money on Home Heating with Pellet Stoves

In today’s world where the cost of heating fuel is rising on a daily basis, we are all looking toward other heating alternatives and pellet stoves are one of these. Pellet stoves are the most convenient way of producing heat in your home. They are very easy to operate. They are almost as easy as oil or gas and if your heating bills are climbing by the month, this is the way to go to eliminate some of those big heating bills.

Some of the pellet stoves rely on computers and circuit boards to make sure you burn the right amount of pellets. This type of stove is a beautiful appliance that would be an asset to any home. Most of the stoves have at least two burn settings and some have thermostats to control the fire. A forced-air system distributes the heat. They are highly efficient and environmentally friendly and the amount of heat that you can get from them runs between 10,000 and 50,000 BTUs an hour. So you can see how this would be an asset to anyone’s home when it comes to heating it.

The wood pellets themselves are inserts and consist of compressed wood, which basically resembles rabbit food. This is what produces the heat in your home and because the pellet stoves burn wood so efficiently some don’t even need chimneys. It is so efficient that any fumes are blown out through a hole in the wall to the outside. These wonderful stoves don’t need refueling as often as the ordinary wood-burning stove, which makes it very convenient for those who own them. Refueling can be on a daily or bi-weekly basis depending on how much heat you require to heat your home. All you have to do to refuel is fill up the hopper and it will distribute the pellets as needed in the fire chamber.

The wonderful thing about these pellet stoves is that they produce no smoke or odor into your home. Another asset is that the front of the stove stays pretty cool preventing you or your child from getting burned.

As wonderful as these stoves are, there is a drawback to them and that is that the pellets may be hard to find in some areas. It is a relatively new way to heat your home and you may have trouble locating someone that sells these locally. Before you purchase one of these stoves, it would be worth your while making a trip to a dealer that sells stoves. If he doesn’t know where to direct you, he may know of some way to find out if the pellets are sold in your area.

There should be retailers throughout the nation, but you have to look into purchasing before you buy the stove. Another few minor drawbacks are that if the power goes out you will lose the heat of the pellet stove unless you have a battery back up system. There are also some restrictions on where these pellet stoves can be placed in your home, but if you get past these few minor things you will be delighted with the choice of heating you have chosen.

 

Electric Fireplaces Are Great Alternatives

Electric fireplaces are really easy to use and you don’t have to worry about sparks from burning wood or fumes from gas. These fireplaces light at the flick of a button and radiate the heat to all corners of the room. Electric fireplaces are also cost-effective because they are energy efficient and do not cause a drastic increase in your electricity bill.

Electric fireplaces are environmentally friendly. When you have one of these in your home, you know that you are not sending any pollutants into the air through the chimney. In addition, this kind of fireplace is more affordable because you don’t need to have a chimney to vent the fumes or smoke. They are excellent for people who constantly worry about fire and you can operate them all year round – with or without the heat. Even on a hot summer’s night, you can have the fireplace going to create the ambiance that only the image of a crackling fire can bring. Although the fire looks real, it isn’t and with the temperature controls, you control the amount of heat it provides.

In older homes, electric fireplaces provide the perfect answer when the chimney has fallen into disrepair and you are afraid to use it. Now you don’t have to bother with putting a liner or two in the chimney and you know that you can look for electric fireplace inserts. You don’t have to worry about city codes or bans on the use of fireplaces because the electric models pose a little fire risk. New models simply do not look like fake fireplaces.

As with other types of fireplaces, electric fireplaces also come in many attractive designs that will really accentuate your living space and add value to your home. You can have a wall-mounted fireplace or an insert into your regular fireplace. The classic models give any room a nostalgic look.

With electric fireplaces, you don’t have to limit yourself to the living room. A fireplace in the master bedroom adds a romantic touch and with an electric model you can keep the romance going all the time. Another thing you won’t have to worry about when you choose an electric model for your fireplace is that of the children burning themselves by getting too close or trying to light the fire when you are not at home. Some models may get hot to the touch so it’s important not to leave children unattended with electric fireplaces. At a minimum, they can present an electrical shock hazard.

The advent of electric fireplaces means that even in an apartment you can enjoy the feeling of sitting in front of a crackling fire. As long as you have space and an electrical outlet, you can install one of these fireplaces. Since it is just another piece of furniture, you won’t get any complaints from the landlord. You don’t need to have any additional wiring or expensive renovations and best of all, when you move, you can take it with you.

Whether you opt for a free-standing fireplace or an electric insert, the choice depends on your needs and the room where you want to put it. Choose a style that fits with your décor and you will have years of worry-free heat and the appearance of a genuine fire.

 

Some FAQs About Buying A FirePlace

Should I buy a gas fireplace?

With gas fireplaces, you do not lose any of the heat. This is a common problem with wood-burning fireplaces because the heat escapes up the chimney. The gas fireplace is extremely fuel-efficient and is not expensive to purchase. If, on the other hand, you want a gas fireplace that is purely for decoration, then you can also buy inserts in which the grille is hidden or decorated in some way.

Should I buy a Wood-Burning a fireplace?

The best thing to do to get your wood-burning fireplace back in shape is to call a professional chimney cleaner. Of course, the best time to call these people is in the spring or summer, but seeing you have likely missed both of these seasons (because like most of us you've procrastinated) you will have to do it in the fall. Cleaning your chimney is your best defense against a chimney fire.

Wood Stove Vs Wood-Burning Fireplace?

Wood stoves can be a great alternative to our heating problems with the rising cost of electricity and stove oil in today's market. Along with wood burning, there also are some very important things a person should know about using this form of heating. If this is done properly you will enjoy many hours of safe and warm heating from a wood stove in your home, especially in climates that have very cold winters.

Can I Save Money on Home Heating with a Pellet Stove?

In today's world where the cost of heating fuel is rising on a daily basis, we are all looking toward other heating alternatives and pellet stoves is one of these. Pellet stoves are the most convenient way of producing heat in your home. They are very easy to operate. They are almost as easy as oil or gas and if your heating bills are climbing by the month, this is the way to go to eliminate some of those big heating bills.