When it comes to making a house a home, installing a fireplace is a “surefire” way to add an inviting, comforting aura to your home. But while the traditional wood-burning fireplace may initially be your first choice, there are several other fireplace options you can choose from that might fit your home better. Here’s an overview of your options and tips for choosing the best fireplace for your home.
First, let’s take a look at the wood burning fireplace, which is the only option that gives you the authentic wood-burning aroma and sound. The up front and installation costs are high, but the hourly cost of fuel is similar to that of gas. Unfortunately, older fireplaces aren’t very efficient. However, if you’re looking for a versatile fireplace option, you can install a traditional fireplace in a variety of design styles, from traditional to modern.
A direct vent gas fireplace costs around 20 cents per hour to run, with installation costs that run from $600-$5000. This type of fireplace retains around 70% of the heat it generates, and if your home has a modern design scheme, this fireplace will fit right in with your streamlined style. An unvented gas fireplace, meanwhile, is 100% efficient and has similar hourly fuel costs to gas. This fireplace should be used in larger rooms with good air flow, and if you have a smaller budget, you can buy an unvented gas fireplace that’s as small as a television for a lower cost.
An electric fireplace is very cheap to install and has a low fuel cost as well; plus, it’s incredibly efficient and easy to maintain, and it can fit anywhere in your home. An ethanol fireplace is also a low-cost option with high efficiency; however, the fuel costs are around $1.98 per hour. The small, sleek look of the ethanol fireplace fits in with a modern home, and since an ethanol fireplace doesn’t require a vent or a gas line, you can place it almost anywhere in your home- even hang it on the wall!
Finally, a pellet stove is similar to a traditional fireplace in that it produces a distinct noise when burning its fuel (compressed wood pellets). However, this type of heat source has high fuel costs (around $1-$1.50 per hour), and can cost anywhere from $1000-$3000 to install; they are also tricky to maintain and clean. Since they look like traditional heating stoves, pellet stoves will fit in best in your living room or kitchen.