Heating Equipment

Fireplace Buying Guide







There are mainly two broad categories in fireplaces- indoor and outdoor. Indoor fireplaces are basically used inside the house in bedrooms and living rooms. Outdoor fireplaces are used at a terrace or backyard.

WOOD OR COAL BURNING

Installation Costs

If you choose a masonry fireplace your installation costs will be higher due to labor and the higher cost of stone or brick. Manufactured units are faster and easier to install. Ensure a safe and reliable installation by using a professional installer.

Operating Costs

Wood burning fireplaces can be the most inefficient unless steps are taken to increase efficiency. So check for efficiency while buying such foreplaces. These fireplaces are also good choices in areas with frequent power cuts, or where the cost of home heating is an issue.

Care and Maintenance

Guard against creosote build up by burning harder, seasoned woods and monitoring your flue ( Flue is a pipe or channel for conveying exhaust gases from a fireplace ) .
Creosote is of 2 types - wood creosote and coal tar creosote. Wood creosote is created by high temperature treatment of wood. Creosotes are said to be carcingens and have various health hazards.
IT is recommended that fireplaces and chimneys be inspected and cleaned at least annually.Wood burning fireplaces require constant cleaning of ashes and hauling wood. Possible smoke stains on the exterior face if drafting problems develop.

NATURAL & PROPANE GAS

Installation Costs

The prices of these fireplaces vary depending on size, style, manufacturer and where you purchase. Then add installation and delivery costs.
A gas fireplace can be installed almost anywhere in the home as long as natural gas or propane is available. Always use the services of the most experienced and qualified technician you can find. Direct gas lines are not available in India so these types of fireplaces are difficult to install.

Operating Costs

Gas fireplaces are generally cheaper and more efficient than wood burning fireplaces. There are many variables in determining the actual costs, such as location of your home, how air tight it is, the size of your room and the cost of gas in your area.

Care and Maintenance

Gas fireplaces are clean burning and require little maintenance. It is recommended an annual inspection by a professional who can inspect the burner, fan, venting, pilot light and thermostat and even clean the glass. Alternately, check with the manual for instructions for cleaning glass doors. Typical glass cleaners are not as effective as products specifically made to clean the stains on the inside of fireplace doors.

Electric

The electrical ones do not need chimney and can be plugged into a power outlet. They are even available as vent-less fireplaces and require no ventilation.

Installation Costs

This does not need much installation costs unless there is a need to run wiring for an outlet where you want to place this fireplace. This is ideal for small offices, apartments or whereever flues cannot be placed.

Operating Costs

Costs will depend on your electric rate from your provider. Check the wattage that gets consumed.

Care and Maintenance

Virtually care free.

OUTDOOR FIREPLACES

Outdoor fireplaces usually have two variants which are Wood burning and Chimenea. Wood burning ones are used for cooking also apart from warming. The Chimenea ones provide the most effective heating out of most models, and come with a circular drum and a small chimney on the top.

SIZE

Fireplaces come in a variety of sizes and the size should depend on the size of the room.While choosing, you should also compare the size of the fire area with the height.

ACCESSORIES

Fireplaces also come with a number of accessories. These range from Chimenea covers, tools, ember or raisin tea-light fireplace logs, gas conversion kits, patio protector and fire-resistant pad. These accessories are optional and you can choose each one according to your requirements. These fireplaces come with mantles or grills made of wood, brick, marble, stone or metal that add prestige to your home.

MATERIALS

Read about fireplace mantle materials here .

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