Have you ever considered installing a fireplace in your house? If you already have an old fireplace that’s no longer in use, you might think about it every time you pass by that antiquated space. If you have a friend or family member with a fireplace, it might cross your mind whenever you’re visiting.
Unfortunately, most people who think about installing a fireplace in passing never end up installing one. They know that they might enjoy this fixture, but they also know it might be a time-consuming, expensive hassle to install. Plus, with so many new fireplace options on the market, shoppers may be forced to contend with analysis paralysis.
What exactly does a fireplace do for your home? And why should you consider moving forward with installing one?
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Today’s fireplaces come in countless varieties. It’s hard to assess exactly what your fireplace can do since different fireplaces are good at different things. If you want the full, traditional experience, there’s no better option than a wood-burning fireplace.
If you already have the wiring to support it, you might choose an electric fireplace. And if you want even greater clean-burning efficiency, you might choose a natural gas or propane fireplace.
In addition to fuel type, you can choose between countless sizes, shapes, and styles. There are minimalistic fireplaces and grandiose ones. There are large ones and small ones. There are prefabricated units and units that are completely customizable.
You can get literally anything you want, and sometimes, that’s a problem. If you don’t know exactly what type of fireplace you want, selecting the perfect option will be time-consuming. Still, if you’re willing to invest a few hours of research, you can end up with a unit that is a truly perfect fit for your living space.
Supplementary Warmth and Heat
The most obvious benefit of installing a fireplace in your house is gaining access to supplementary warmth and heat. Most fireplaces aren’t capable of heating your entire home efficiently, but they can heat a local space incredibly well.
If you want to avoid heating the entire house and driving up your utility bills, you can stay in the room with the fireplace and keep your home heated efficiently. If it’s a particularly cold day, and you just need a little extra oomph, your fireplace can help you with that as well.
A Soft Glow
Many people love having a fireplace because of the soft, orange glow it provides. You can turn off the lights, start a fire, and watch your favorite horror movie.
You can use the dim orange glow to set the mood for a romantic evening or a casual party. You can even use this light to stay up late reading your latest favorite novel.
A Comforting Crackle
If you have a gas or electric fireplace, you might miss out on this benefit – but if you have a traditional, wood-burning fireplace, you can enjoy the delights of soft crackling when the fire is ignited.
For people who enjoy ASMR, this is a huge advantage. But nearly everyone can enjoy the delicate, comforting background noise your fireplace provides.
A Place to Gather
Hosting gatherings is, even more, fun and comforting when you’re meeting around a fireplace. Whether you’re hosting a family event or a book club with your closest friends, this fireplace can be an iconic and valuable central location for everyone to meet.
Mantels and Displays
Many fireplaces come with a mantel, or you can install a mantel of your own volition. Once in place, your mantel can serve as the centerpiece of your living room, and provide a display location for your favorite photographs, works of art, or other décor items.
If managed properly, it can draw everyone’s attention and bring the entire room together.
Fireplaces can also increase your home value by $1-5,000. Granted, this may not cover the entire costs of installation, especially if you need to do renovation work to accommodate the fireplace. But on top of all of the other benefits, it’s a very reasonable ROI for a DIY project.
To make things even better, fireplaces are relatively easy to maintain. You’ll need to inspect, clean, and repair them periodically, but these are tasks that are inexpensive – and if you do them yourselves, they aren’t very time-consuming.
Here are the basics on how to maintain a wood-burning fireplace:
- Clean the interior. Burning wood creates ash and debris, so you’ll need to clean it out regularly. This is important not just for aesthetics, but also for improving efficiency. Take the ashes and sprinkle them in your garden for a nutritious boost!
- Remove soot and creosote. Soot and creosote are left behind after a fire, and these materials can build up in the inner walls of your flue and chimney. You can reduce soot and creosote by burning properly seasoned wood, but it’s still important to do an occasional thorough cleaning to get rid of it all. Otherwise, these materials could start a structure fire.
- Check the chimney and cap. Look for any cracks, signs of rust, dents, or other points of damage. Replace the chimney and/or its cap when necessary.
- Fix problems as they arise. Small issues can lead to big issues if you don’t take care of them right away. Pay attention to any cracks, unusual smoke leakage, white stains (indicating leakage), or masonry problems, so you can address them before they spiral out of control.
If you have an electric or gas fireplace, you won’t have to worry much about leftover debris – so maintenance is even easier!
Installing a Fireplace
Are you sold on the benefits of installing a fireplace? If so, you’ll be ready to start your buying journey.
Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the different styles and fuel types of modern fireplaces so you can make a more educated decision. Once you have something in mind, you can work with a salesperson to find the right model and get it installed.