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July 26, 2015

The Fireplace Movement

There was a day when burning wood in the wood burning fireplace was the only option. That’s before the furnace, baseline heaters and central air. So, having a fireplace was a necessity.

But, there were so many things different back then. They weren’t burning treated wood. There weren’t a billion houses in the world at that time. Everything was cleaner because we hadn’t had time to destroy it all yet.

But, the wood burning fireplace is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Of course, it’s still great for wide open places like in the country in your farmhouse or in your own ranch. But, in urban and suburban areas where living is tight is not conducive to the wood burning fireplace.

But, we don’t have to completely trash the entire idea of having a fireplace in the home. There are alternatives. Some of these alternatives throw every bit as much heat and look every bit as good as a wood burning fireplace.

Electric Fireplaces

Electric Fireplaces

These are ventless fireplaces that are made in all types of shapes and sizes. You can have contemporary looking fireplaces with brass or silver linings. Some are made of glass or stainless steel. They are portable to any room and they shut off instantly.

You can also have traditional looking fireplaces that are made of wood like mahogany or dark walnut. You can have a marble or stone finish that looks great with just about any d├ęcor. So, the electric fireplace has quite a few advantages over the traditional wood burning fireplace.

You don’t have to wait for the fire to go out or try to douse it with water. You can simply shut off the fireplace when you leave the house or go to bed. But, you can leave them on all night too as an extra heating source. You won’t have to worry about any jumping embers setting your house on fire while you are asleep.

Flame Fireplaces

These are actually commonly referred to as ventless fireplaces. But, I wanted to make the distinction because electric fireplaces are also ventless. The reason these are more commonly referred to as ventless is because there is a real flame in the fireplace. But, you don’t need a chimney or any other type of outside vent.

The flame that is burning in the fireplace is a gel fuel that burns into water vapor. It doesn’t cause damage to the house or the environment. It burns very hot even though the FTC won’t allow the companies to actually call it a heating source. These also come in the same designs as electric fireplaces.

Build Your Own

Another great thing about the ventless fireplace is that you don’t have to settle with a design that a designer designed. You can build your own with fireplace inserts and gel fuel. Build a hearth with 2x4s. Build a surround and then put your fireplace insert inside. Take the chimney to the ceiling if you want and finish with a faux stone or brick look. You can have a fireplace in any room and it won’t come anywhere near the cost of an actual wood burning fireplace.

With the environment the way it is and the more restrictions being placed on home building and home remodeling permits, you might see it one day when building a traditional wood burning fireplace might take a special permit or won’t be allowed at all. But, you don’t have to miss out on the fireplace experience. There are alternatives and you should start looking into them.