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Choosing The Right Fireplace For Your Home
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement


There are several important things to consider before selecting a fireplace for your home. The three most important factors are appearance, size and the material in which the fireplace is made of. Stone, tile, marble, brick, wood, and concrete are the most common materials. You can also choose between electric, gas, propane and cast iron. To create the appearance you are looking for, a mix of materials can be added to your selection.

Fireplaces come in all shapes and sizes. Traditional wood-burning fireplaces are slowly being replaced by clean-burning fireplaces, but many people still appreciate the crackling sound of real wood burning. However, traditional wood burning fireplaces are designed with an open face. Be prepared for more maintenance and a certain amount of heat loss due to this. Clean –burning fireplaces, on the other side, are the most efficient in wood burning and also easier to maintain.

Gas fireplaces are growing in popularity. Many find them attractive because you can select a gas burning fireplace that either offers a modern appeal or the traditional elegance of old fashion wood burning fireplaces. They come in direct vent and vent free options. Direct vent eliminates the need for a chimney and is the best choice if you are trying to protect the air in your home. You can also choose between natural gas and propane. Overall, gas-burning fireplaces come in an array of styles, are flexible, and incredibly comforting.

Propane fireplaces have the added convenience of reduced heat loss, the ability of turning heat off with a switch, and they eliminate untidy clean-ups. Propane fireplaces compare to wood burning fireplaces and stoves because they provide fast heat, vent less options and variable heat controls. Propane fireplaces come in several designs including, wall insets, masonry, and freestanding. Also, both radiant and convective heat options are available.

Electric fireplaces are the easier, maintenance friendly alternative. They provide fast heat and can be turned off at night to save electricity. Installation is very easy and they can be placed almost anywhere. The environment enjoys electric fireplaces because they are pollution free, yet they look very similar to wood or gas fireplaces. Many models are available ranging from old fashion stove designs to modern sleekness. Most electric models cost anywhere from $500 dollars to $1500.

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