Elena Langlois - CENTURY 21 Commonwealth

Posted by Elena Langlois on 2/8/2018

Fireplaces can serve as a focal point in a room, provide a source of heat and add to the comfort of your home. They can also help you to save on energy costs. There’s so many different kinds of fireplaces that you can either install or find in a home. If you’re shopping for a home, you may want a home with a built-in fireplace. You don’t necessarily need one to get all of the benefits that a fireplace can provide. There’s different types of fireplaces that are made to suit the many different needs of homeowners. Here, we’ll show you some different kinds of fireplaces along with their pros and cons. 

Wood Fireplaces 

The most commonly thought of fireplace is the wood-burning fireplace. This will be built-in to your home, or you can install them in your home to use as a heat source. You may even install a wood stove in the upstairs part of your home and another in the downstairs in order to keep an even heat throughout the home. In some homes, however, just one wood stove is enough to heat the entire house! 

This type of fireplace requires maintaining from time-to-time including cleaning the chimney. You’ll also need to clean out ash from the inside of the fireplace. The material that’s being burned- wood, needs to be stored somewhere. Rain and inclement weather can cause a problem, as you’ll need to dry the wood some before it can be burned effectively. You’ll need a screen to protect you and your family from the ash and embers that may be blown around form the inside of the fireplace while it’s burning wood. These fireplaces are advantageous for a classic look and feel but can often be a pain to clean.   

Gas Fireplaces 

If your home is fitted with a gas fireplace, you’re lucky because these types of fireplaces are cleaner and provide a more even heat source. Gas fireplaces, true to their name, burn gas instead of wood. A vented gas fireplace will look very similar to that of a wood- burning fireplace. There is a firebox present in the chimney that allows for ventilation with these types of heating sources. You can use a variety of things to give the appearance that you are “burning” them in a gas fireplace. This includes beads that will bring flames up and ceramic logs that appear just like the logs that would be present in a wood-burning fireplace. You can even easily convert a gas burning fireplace to a wood burning one. This is, if you seem miss cleaning up all of the ash that they create!   

Direct Vent Fireplaces

These fireplaces don’t require a chimney. They draw in outside air and feed off a gas line that’s attached through the wall. The flame of these fireplaces is secured behind a piece of glass. The big advantage to these kinds of fireplaces is that they emit a large amount of heat and don’t lose much heat in the process, since there’s no chimney to lose air through.  

Faux Fireplaces

If you choose, there’s a variety of options that you have in getting a fireplace that doesn’t actually create a flame at all. These fireplaces are typically run on electricity and give the same effect of a fireplace but are much easier to install anywhere in your home. Consider these if you really would like a fireplace without the hassle!

Posted by Elena Langlois on 10/27/2016

It is the time of year when we start to use the fireplace. A crackling fire is the picture of a cozy home but it can also be a home hazard. Keeping an eye on a few key items inside and out will make sure your wood-burning fireplace is safe and ready to go for the burning season.   Here is a checklist of things to look for on the outside of your fireplace:

  • A chimney cap; this keeps out rain, animals away and helps prevents hot embers from landing on the roof.
  • Bird’s nest or any type of debris buildup on the cap.
  • Tree limbs that hang above or near the chimney.
  • Crumbling and/or missing mortar and bricks.
  • A chimney that rises at least 2 feet above where it exits the roof.
  • A flue liner that is visible above the chimney crown.
  • The chimney is plumb and not leaning to one side or the other.
  • Roof flashing that is tight against the chimney.
Here is a checklist for the inside of your fireplace:
  • A flue damper that opens, closes, and seals properly.
  • Daylight can be seen through the flue, no combustible material such as animal nests or other foreign objects in the flue.
  • There are no cracked bricks or missing mortar in the fireplace surround, hearth, and firebox.
  • No moisture can be seen inside the firebox, which could mean a faulty cap.
If you spot any problems always call a licensed chimney professional or mason to remedy the problem. There is no hard and fast rule on how often to clean your fireplace but you will need to keep a keen eye to determine if it is time for a cleaning. Use your fireplace poker to scrape away some of the creosote from the fireplace lining. If the creosote buildup is is 1/8 of an inch, or more you should schedule a cleaning.

Tags: Fireplace Safety  
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