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How to Choose a Fireplace Insert

How to Choose a Fireplace Insert

August 15th, 2017

If you want to make your home a bit more cozy and warm during the chilly days of the fall and winter seasons, then a fireplace is the best way to go. While wood burning fireplaces are not nearly as common these days, gas and electric fireplace inserts are extremely popular, and for good reason. In addition to saving you the hassle of dealing with piles of wood or cleaning out ashes, fireplace inserts have a lot of advantages, and are a fantastic way to improve your home comfort.

Modern fireplace designs are much more efficient now than they’ve ever been. Gas and electric models are designed for maximum energy efficiency, and can easily be adjusted to deliver just the right amount of extra warmth on a chilly Canadian day. Using a gas or electric fireplace to warm up a single room can be faster and more efficient than turning up the temperature of the entire house.

Installation of fireplace inserts is easier than ever, with many designs capable of being installed virtually anywhere in your home.

Step 1 – Decide on your style of fireplace

There are two common types of fireplace inserts: Gas or Electric. As their names imply, they each use a different type of power to generate heat. When considering one or the other, understand that you will either need a gas line run to the fireplace or a new electrical connection in order to power your new fireplace. Depending on where you end up choosing to install your fireplace, this can have a big impact on your total budget.

Both gas and electric fireplaces also have different characteristics, and some people simply tend to prefer one over the other. Gas fireplaces have a much more ‘classic’ feel to them, since they actually produce a visible flame and some are designed to look ‘deeper’, as if they are actually connected to a chimney. Electric fireplaces come in a huge range of designs. Some are more traditional in appearance, while others are ultra-modern and can be hung on a wall as if they were a piece of artwork.

Whichever type of fireplace you prefer, be sure to look at many different models when shopping for one so that you can find the design that fits your style the best.


Step 2 – Decide where you want your fireplace

While this may seem like a simple step, choosing the best location for your fireplace can be tricky. There are several things you need to decide before you settle on a final location for your fireplace. Start by answering these questions:

  • Do you want it to be the focal point of the room, or an accent?
    • If your goal is to design the room around the look and placement of the fireplace, then you will need to have it in a prominent and highly visible location. If you simply want it to be an accent piece in the room, then you have a bit more flexibility on where it will work best for your design.
  • Do you need a vent or not?
    • Gas fireplaces will need a vent to the outside of the home as part of the installation. Make sure you keep this in mind when deciding where you want to put your gas fireplace, as the vent will need to come out on an exterior wall. In addition, there needs to be a certain amount of clearance away from doors, windows, and other appliance inlets.
    • Electric fireplaces don’t need a vent as part of the installation, so if you want to have it in a location where a vent is not possible, an electric fireplace is the way to go. Consulting with a home comfort expert is the best way to determine which is the best choice for your desired location.

Step 3 – Decide on your budget

Once you’ve determined where you want your fireplace, and if you’d prefer a gas or electric style, then you need to figure out what your budget will be. As with most home improvements, you get what you pay for, so be aware that there will be a big range in prices depending on what extra features you want to have. Also, you’ll want to arrange for a trusted home comfort expert visit your home to check everything over and verify that your choice of location is actually possible for the type of fireplace you want. They can provide an estimate on the cost of installation, and you’ll have an accurate picture of what the total cost of your new fireplace will be.

Choosing a fireplace can be a very fun experience, especially with so many design choices available for both gas and electric fireplace inserts. Additionally, installing a fireplace in your home can give the value of your home a boost, and has the potential to lower your energy costs. Having a fireplace insert installed in your home can be a very wise investment, so if you have any questions or would like to arrange an appointment with one of our home comfort experts, contact us today and we’d be glad to speak with you.

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