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Fireplace Information, How Tos & FAQ

Looking for fireplace information? Our goal is to give you the information you need to choose the right fireplace for your home or business. Below you'll find answers to frequently asked questions, as well as general information about fireplaces. If you're looking for product information about specific fireplaces, take a look at our fireplaces page.

Fireplaces FAQ

Best Fireplaces
How to Choose a Fireplace
Fireplace Reviews
Fireplace Installation
Fireplace Safety Tips
Fireplace Maintenance, Service & Repair
Eco-Friendly Fireplace Information

How to Choose a Fireplace

In order to choose a fireplace that is appropriate for your home and budget, there are several questions you must answer. Your new fireplace may be the focal point of the favorite gathering spot in your home, or it may be the key to heating a new addition to your home ... whatever the use, it is certain to affect your home's value. Fireplaces are consistently one of the top features sought after by new home buyers.

Answering these questions will help you choose the best fireplace for your home:

  • Where do you want to have the fireplace installed?
  • How much would you like to spend?
  • Do you want your fireplace to look impressive, heat your home or both?
  • If you want to heat your home, how far do you want that heat to reach?
  • How much do you want to regularly spend on fuel, and what types of fuel are readily available to you?
  • How will the fireplace style you are considering blend with the design elements already in your home?

Whether you are starting from scratch, or searching for the right fireplace update, the experts here at have provided the information you'll need to make the right decision.

Additional information

Fireplace Inserts

A fireplace insert is made from cast iron or steel and is designed to fit inside an existing masonry or prefabricated wood-burning fireplace. Fireplace inserts are an excellent way to rehab a non-working fireplace and restore to your home the warmth and charm that a fireplaces offers.

Fireplace inserts can burn a variety of fuels -- including pellets, coal, gas, propane and certain woods. This easy-to-install fireplace option can typically be installed by a professional in just a few days. Check out the Saranac Pellet Insert for an example of this type of product.

Fireplace inserts feature insulated glass doors that offer a full view of the flames, but help make the fire burn more efficiently. Optional features often include a blower that will help circulate the heat from the fire back into your home, thermostat controls or even a remote control ... so you won't have to leave the comfort of your couch in the middle of a great movie to adjust the flames.

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Vent-free Firebox

The term firebox refers specifically to the chamber in which fuel is burned. A vent-free firebox is a fireplace unit that is designed to be used with a gas log set that is sold separately. Buying your firebox and your gas log set separately allows you complete design flexibility, as long as the units have sizes that are compatible.

You can create a fireplace update that is truly unique here on by selecting each element of your fireplace individually. Start with a firebox, add a gas log set, then move on to accessories like blowers, glowing embers, mantels and more.

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Modern Fireplace Design

Just because people have been heating their homes with fire since the beginning of time is no reason for your fireplace to look quaint. There are many contemporary homes in which a traditional fireplace design would just look, well, silly.

Depending on the design or your home and your personal tastes, you can choose a classic fireplace design like the Monessen Chesapeake or you can choose from fireplace designs with a more modern sensibility, like the Bio Flame Prive.

The modern fireplace designs are particularly well-suited for contemporary homes, condominiums and townhouses. The number of vent-free styles available mean that you can install a fireplace and heat nearly any room in your home. You can raise your "man room" in the basement to a whole new level of sophistication with a stainless steel fireplace installed below your plasma screen television. Or give your master bedroom the ultimate romantic touch.

Go to Modern Fireplaces

Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplace design has come a long way in the last 30 years. Sleek new designs that produce 4,800 to 5,000 BTUs of heat offer simple installation, 100% fireplace efficiency and low maintenance. Take a look at the Burley Pilton Electric Fireplace, one of our favorite designs.

Wood fires come with lots of maintenance -- chopping or buying wood, hauling and storing wood, building the fire, cleaning out the ashes. And that's not to mention all the hassle and added complication when something goes wrong and smoke comes pouring inside instead of going up the chimney. Or when an uninvited guest climbs down the chimney and you have to call pest control to get him removed.

And gas fireplaces require fuel that must continually be purchased and require regular inspections.

If you want to create ambiance in your home in the simplest, most efficient way possible, then you should consider an electric fireplace. Many gas fireplaces are even portable ... you can designate a spot for it in your living room and your master bedroom, moving it whenever you choose. All you need is an electrical outlet. What could be easier? And if fireplace cost is an issue for you, then you may want to consider an electric fireplace because of its economical operating cost.

Fireplaces are a lifestyle choice ... and there's something here for everyone.

Go to Electric Fireplaces