Modern Alternatives to Traditional Fireplaces

Have you dreamed about installing a wood burning fireplace in your living room, your outdoor living space or even basement?  However, fireplaces these days are far more than a practical source of heat, there is a wide array of new options that worthly compete traditional ones. Find out here the pros and cons of new types of fireplaces.

– Gasfireplaces

With gas fireplace installation you will get less maintenance and less heat loss plus the charm of wood burning fireplaces. Instead of wood, they burn natural gas or propane. Most gas units are easy to use, requiring only the push of a button to turn or flip of a switch to turn them on and off.
They do not produce nearly the smoke or odours of traditional wood burning fireplaces, but the flames created by gas fireplaces emit low levels of pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen and sulfur oxides. Gas fireplaces come in three main varieties:  B vent, direct vent and ventless.

– Electricfireplaces

They use light technology to create the look of a firefor decorative purposes.  Electric fireplaces come in a variety of styles and sizes: they can be floor standing or wall-mounted.  They can be added to almost any room that has an electrical installation, even your basement (with only one requirement – basement lighting installation). Electric fireplaces can be used as a heater, typically consuming 1.4-1.6 kW that can heat a 400 sq ft (37 m2) room. The main pros of electric fireplaces are their low cost and their ability to be placed in numerous locations.  Without real flame they do not require venting.

 –  Alcohol burning fireplaces

This is another,fairly new on the market, vent-free option.  They burn one of the cleanest burning fuels available – either ethanol or isopropyl alcohol, producing only water vapor, carbon dioxide and trace amounts of carbon monoxide that are well below accepted limits. However, a room with a alcohol burning fireplace needs adequate ventilation, such as central air conditioning or windows.

As alcohol burning fireplace installation requires no venting system, they are low in maintenance, but they have to be refilled with the alcohol that is more expensive to burn per hour compared to natural gas. Besides, the flame tends to be on the smaller side, and experts disagree as to how “green” and energy-efficient burning alcohol is.