For those who live in places where the climate can get extremely cold, there’s nothing that can make a home cozier and more inviting than a roaring fireplace. Other than providing heat, a fireplace can also serve as a centerpiece for any room, drawing attention as a gorgeous focal point and tying together the theme of the room.
While most modern homes feature a modern fireplace, older homes often feature a classic wood-burning fireplace. While wood-burning fireplaces are still beautiful, many people are choosing to upgrade their fireplace because wood-burning fireplaces require more attention and care to keep the fire burning, not to mention that it releases smoke and toxic fumes. What’s more, classic fireplaces are harder to clean compared to modern fireplaces.
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What is a Modern Fireplace?
Simply put, a modern fireplace does not require wood to produce fire. There are generally three types of modern fireplaces to choose from: gas fireplaces, electric fireplaces, and ethanol fireplaces.
After wood-burning fireplaces, gas fireplaces are the most common type of fireplace because of their similar structure. If you have a wood-burning fireplace in your home that you wish to upgrade to a modern fireplace without too much work and renovation, your best option would be to opt for a gas fireplace. The main fuel source of gas fireplaces is natural gas, and most of them use a firebox that vents through a chimney. Thus, if you already have a traditional fireplace installed, it’s easy to convert the components to burn gas instead of wood. Another reason why many people opt for a gas fireplace is that this type of fireplace is versatile; you can use a wide range of different burning elements from decorative logs that look like traditional burning wood to glass beads. Even if you don’t have a chimney, you can still install a gas fireplace by just installing a direct vent into your wall. Aside from their easy and quick installation, gas fireplaces are easy to start: you can warm up your home simply with a flick of a switch!
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Electric fireplaces are popular with people who have limited space in their home because they require less space to install. Some electric fireplaces don’t even need their own space! You simply plug in the electric fireplace into an outlet and enjoy. This type of fireplace is also the cheapest type of fireplace. However, most electric fireplaces can only warm up small rooms because they don’t give out as much heat as other types of modern fireplaces.
Ethanol fireplaces are the newest type of modern fireplace and burns ethanol to produce heat. This type of fireplace does not require venting, so you can use it without needing a chimney, but you need to be careful with refilling the fireplace because ethanol is a flammable substance. If you are unsure about how to refill your ethanol fireplace, it would be best to get it refilled by a certified professional to ensure that the process is being done safely and correctly.
Factors to Consider when Upgrading to a Modern Fireplace
There are generally three factors that you should consider if you are thinking of upgrading your classic fireplace to a modern version: available space, labor and renovation, and cost.
The first thing that you should consider is the space. You can think about this in two ways. First, how big is the space you want to heat, and how big is the space you have available to put a modern fireplace. If you only have a small space, the best option is either an electric or ethanol fireplace. For larger spaces, gas fireplaces will produce the most heat.
The second thing that you need to consider is the amount of labor involved and the materials needed for the renovation. If you already have a classic fireplace installed, you would only need minimal labor and renovation to convert it to a modern gas fireplace but you can only install the gas fireplace in the same location. On the other hand, opting for an electric or ethanol fireplace means that you can install a fireplace in a new location without too much hassle.
Finally, you need to look at the cost of upgrading to a modern fireplace. You can calculate the cost by looking at how much renovation you need to do, as well as if you need to get a professional to install your new fireplace. If you’re working on a limited budget, an electric fireplace is the best option for you. However, if you’re working on a bigger budget or if money is no object, you can consider putting in a gas or ethanol fireplace. With gas or ethanol fireplaces, you will not only get more heat, but you can even customize the appearance of the fireplace to suit the overall décor and theme of your home!