Guide for Fireplaces

Thinking of adding a fireplace to your home, but not quite sure? If this is the case, then you are not alone. Fireplaces have always been a part of creating a warm and inviting environment. However, many people are afraid of installing a new fireplace because they lack the knowledge needed to do so.  The variety of types and styles makes it difficult to choose the one that fits your home. No need to fear, this article will discuss the various types of fireplaces available and will provide you with all of the information you need to confidently purchase an indoor fireplace.

Why Purchase a Fireplace?

Fireplaces can add value to your home in a variety of ways. It's critical to decide early on whether you'll use them primarily for the aesthetics and mood-setting abilities they provide, or for the heat and warmth they can add to your home. Because every fireplace is unique, knowing exactly what you want will significantly reduce the number of options. Setting expectations at the start of the buying process will save you time and money later on. 

Knowing the difference between a true fireplace and a fireplace insert is critical before purchasing a fireplace for any home. If you already have a masonry fireplace installed in your home and want to improve its efficiency, a fireplace insert is what you need. If you want to give your fireplace area a completely new, updated look, a full fireplace is the way to go.

Before You Purchase a Fireplace

Once you've decided to add a fireplace to your home, you'll need to learn more about the installation process. The first step is to learn about building codes and other permits required for fireplace installation. Keep in mind that certain regions of North America are extremely picky about the types of vents they will allow. This is critical information to have before beginning any installation on your property. Here are some resources to assist you in understanding national, state, and jurisdictional fireplace codes:

To ensure that you are in accordance with your local fireplace codes, please do your own research online for your specific city regulations and consult with your local code authority or fire department. You should also consult with a certified fireplace safety inspector to ensure that your fireplace meets all coding and safety requirements.

Taking Care of Your Fireplace

Your new fireplace can provide many years of comfort with proper care and a systematic maintenance schedule. Ethanol fireplaces are by far the easiest to maintain, requiring only the occasional wipe down with a damp cloth. It is recommended that the ethanol tray be cleaned every 3 to 4 burns.

Electric fireplaces are also low-maintenance, but a seasonal inspection of the power cord and chassis is recommended to ensure that nothing is out of place. Air intakes should be vacuumed as well to remove dust that accumulates during operation. Machine oil should be applied as directed if the manufacturer provides oiling instructions for moving parts.

An annual inspection is also required for gas-burning direct vent models. To maintain optimal display, the glass front of direct vent gas fireplaces should be removed and cleaned as needed. Vacuum any dust or spiderwebs from the fireplace interior as well as the lower compartment containing the gas valve and other components. Check that the logs are still in the right place and haven't shifted. Finally, a compressed air jet should be used to clean the pilot assembly.

Due to the open design of vent free and B-vent gas fireplaces, they tend to collect more dust than direct vent models. To remove dust, spider webs, and dander, vacuum the interior and valve compartment of these models. Check the log placement, especially on vent-free models. Finally, the pilot assembly should be examined and cleaned.

The most frequent service will be required for wood-burning models. Regular ash removal is required for open wood burning models, and it is essential not to exhaust the unit while in use. Cleaning any installed glass doors as needed to maintain fire display is also required. The chimney system should also be inspected at least twice during the burning season, once before the first use and once more during the season. Any inspection that reveals creosote buildup suggests a chimney sweep.

By following this guide, you should now be able to decide on your first fireplace. Happy shopping!

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