Your home renovation in Millcreek is going on full swing now. The water heater replacement company is working on a new installation for the entire house. The following week will be the living room. It’s where you’d like to gather everybody for a post-dinner conversation, watch movies with the kids. If the kids have homework, it’s where you want to snuggle with the wife with your nightcap, typically an espresso with your preferred pousse-café, a snifter of Courvoisier. But you need to make a big decision about installing a new fireplace. Would it still be wood? Or is gas the better option these days?
You’re going to have to think about this in the next few days.
Fireplaces and American Homes
Most homes in America now use a centralized heating system. There are claims that many fireplaces in homes are now mere decorative pieces as opposed to something that heats up or warms a house.
That being said, installing a fireplace could cost anywhere between $150 to upwards of $2,100, depending on the kind of furnace you are going to put up. How fancy it is and the type of technology (e.g., electric, remote control, etc.) it carries will also significantly affect the cost.
Beyond the Traditional Firewood
Centuries ago and perhaps just several decades ago, burning wood is what makes a fireplace. Advancement in urban development and technology have shifted ways by which you can light a fire in a furnace. Here are a few things to consider when deciding to install a new fireplace:
- Main purpose. You like to gather the entire family together in the living room, and also spend time alone with the wife to rekindle romantic moments. That’s precisely what you need to do first. Have a clear vision of the primary purpose of the fireplace. This thought process will help you determine the exact positioning of the fireplace and also the style to use.
- Decide on a location. After you’ve determined the primary purpose of your fireplace, you can decide on its site. If you’re going to go for firewood, note that it would have to be resting on an external wall and a chimney needs to be built. For electric or gas, there is no “wall requirement” because the fireplace could be built anywhere.
- Where’s the heat? Aim for single-room heating only. If your idea is to use the fireplace to heat more than one room so you could save money, it’s not going to work. The heat will be too concentrated in one place rather than spreading to the adjacent rooms.
- Wood, gas, or electric. You know already the requirement for all three options. Nothing spells like romance than being wrapped up in a blanket, your beloved in your arms, and the firewood crackling as it burns. But note cleaning up the ashes and soot isn’t that romantic anymore. Gas will require pipeline installation, and your utility cost could go up. But there’s no mess, and controlling the heat via a thermostat is easy. Operating an electric fireplace would probably be the easiest. What it lacks in realism, it more than makes up for its versatility. No venting is necessary, and it can be installed anywhere. Like gas, however, expect your utility bills to spike a little.
Are you feeling warm and cozy with these ideas? Or did they just make you sweat heaps in the armpits? A fireplace brings warmth to your home, but installing one might be a bane in your pocket.