A fireplace is also known as a hearth, suitable option to consider for warmth and beautification. It is a structure mostly made of stone, metal or brick, which contains fire and gives warmth. In times past, there was much importance for fireplaces as they were used as warmth, for cooking, heating water, laundry, and other domestic activities. Fireplaces were mostly built on the ground or in the center of a hut, where they also serve as a place of gathering for families. Nonetheless, this traditional method produced toxic and irritating smoke which is harmful to health.
During the industrial revolution, many flaws were found in the ancient fireplaces which prompted the standardization of fireplaces. In recent times, the purpose of a fireplace has shifted from that of necessity to that of visual interest and decoration. Modern fireplaces vary in heat efficiency, depending on the structure.
So how do I pick the right fireplace or small wood-burning stoves for my house? This is the question we get asked quite often. And our answer has always been to read online product reviews. There are many websites and blogs that do product reviews of various types of fireplaces. A website reviewing fireplaces or stoves will help you pick the right type of fireplace for your house. However, you may want to read the reviews on many other blogs or websites to be sure you are not being misled by a website that has stakes in the company whose fireplaces they have hyped. You can also read fireplace reviews on a website such as Amazon.com.
Below is a list of fireplace alternatives you might like to consider.
1. Gas Logs Fireplace:
This is a type of fireplace whereby a stack of ceramic logs is placed inside already existing fireplaces. They consist of a burner which can either be vented or vent-free. Gas logs are a more suitable option for looks and decoration than they are for warmth. They are the cheapest of the three gas forms and do not emit so much heat.
2. Gas inserts Fireplace:
Gas inserts are retrofitted wood-burning hearth which uses gas. They take the place of actual wood in a fireplace. They are normally surrounded by a metal box which is inside another metal box, fitted into the fireplace. Gas inserts produce a lot of heat and are a better option for warmth than gas logs. They are more expensive than gas logs, but not as expensive as inbuilt gas fireplaces.
3. In-built Gas Fireplace:
Gas fireplaces are similar to gas inserts. They have the same setup; however, an in-built gas fireplace does not require any existing fireplace. Out of the three gas types, they produce the most heat and warmth. They are also of two types vented and vent-free. While the vented fireplace allows for air to go outside through an opening in the wall, the vent-free model lets the air exhaust in the room.
4. Electric Fireplace:
This fireplace alternative best replicates a real fireplace. They are of different categories, with the 3D fire effect at the forefront, giving the most realistic view. The flames are very realistic and only by a very close range view can a person ascertain that it is not a real hearth. If properly used, electric fireplaces and safe and they emit enough heat to generate warmth.
5. Alcohol Gel Fireplace:
If you are in search of a fireplace that generates real fire, but yet eco-friendly, then the alcohol gel hearth is your best bet. Alcohol Gel fireplaces are smoke and fume free and can last up to three hours. Gels are of two types odorless or scented, which provides a friendly ambiance. This fireplace type is extremely portable, with different shapes and sizes such as traditional looking versions, wall-hung, contemporary as well as tabletop versions.
6. Fake Fire Logs:
Fake fire logs have the ability to serve as electric heaters. While some can give that feeling of warmth, others have no heating functionality and may be used for just beautification. They are quite similar to electric fireplaces and the flames and glows are very consistent with that of a real fire.
7. Led Fireplace:
LED fireplaces provide a pleasant and comfortable environment during winter. This fireplace alternative gives the feel of a traditional fire and allows for the emission of great heat. They have convenient remote controls with which you can use to modify the heat while enjoying the charming display of the fire. The LED fireplace can also be plugged into electric outlets and they are also energy efficient and power saving.
8. Pellet-Burning Appliances:
These appliances use compacted organic fuel from other recycled products. Pellet stoves may be expensive, but they burn cleaner than most of the other alternatives. However, they do not heat further than their installation position; therefore, if you are considering a pellet appliance, be sure to install it in a place where you spend the most time.
9. Catalytic wood stoves and advanced combustion wood stoves:
This is a method of heat production that burns safer and with less fuel, thus reducing the amount of solid build-up of soot, smoke and other gases inside the hearth. They produce more heat and last longer because the heated oxygen is released above the fire, thereby causing a reduction in the temperature of combustible gases.
10. Decorative Fireplace Mantel:
The decorative fireplace is pretty much like a high-end version of the electric fireplace. Although they are very expensive, they are very beautiful and provide the heat needed to create a warm atmosphere.
It doesn’t matter which fireplace or stove you choose, the most important thing is to make sure you are buying a fireplace or stove that will serve a purpose for yourself and your family. Also, to ensure you do not buy something that will not last, you want to invest your time in reading as many product reviews as possible to help guide your decision making.