Choosing A New Fireplace For Your Home

The purchase and installation of a fireplace is a major home update, and as a result, the decisions concerning this update should not be taken lightly. You should instead take your time and choose wisely when it comes to the fireplace you choose. Here are some factors you should keep in mind:

Gas vs. Wood

When it comes to the choice between a gas and a wood-burning fireplace, two of the most important things to consider are safety and maintenance.

In terms of safety, if you are the parent of a younger child or have a curious furry family member, wood-burning fireplaces can sometimes pose a greater safety threat, as the flames are not contained. Whereas with a gas fireplace, there is a shield. 

In terms of maintenance, wood-burning fireplaces require extensive maintenance. For example, if the fireplace is not cleaned regularly, the air inside your home could become polluted whenever you use the fireplace, which can pose a serious health hazard. Regular chimney sweeping is also important, as the creosote that builds in the chimney can cause a fire. Gas fireplaces, on the other hand, don't require much at all in the form of maintenance unless there is an issue with the unit.

Size

When it comes to fireplaces, the BTU measurement of the unit is an assessment of its size. BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is a reference to the amount of heat a fireplace can generate within one hour. Several factors can help you determine what size BTU is necessary for your fireplace, including your location, layout of the room, and the age of your house.

In terms of location, generally, if the fireplace will be used as a heat source, a house in a colder climate would require a unit with a greater BTU than a home in a warmer climate, such as the desert. The layout of the room should be assessed based on the number of windows in the room. Since windows cause heat loss, a fireplace in a room with a lot of windows would require a greater BTU rating.

Lastly, the age of the home is also important, as older homes typically have greater issues with insulation and heat loss, so for greater heat generation, a larger BTU is necessary.

Take your time and choose your fireplace wisely. With the right decision, you'll have a fireplace you can enjoy for many years to come.

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