4 Considerations For Creating Your Ideal Fireplace


When you think about your home's climate control system, don't forget the fireplace. This staple of the American living room or den has brought a sense of cheer, romance, and of course warmth to countless occupants. If you plan to redecorate or renovate your living area, think about giving your fireplace a more active role in the overall look and feel of the place. Here are four points to consider along the way.

1. Type of Fuel

The first question you must answer for yourself before running out and buying a fireplace is what kind of fuel you intend to burn. For many, this decision will be dictated by the home's current architecture, since you will need a fireplace for any kind of fuel that produces smoke. The following factors may also apply:

  • Gas and electric fireplaces usually offer simpler and more versatile installation. Gas units, of course, will require access to a gas line, while electric units can usually plug into any available outlet.
  • Some people, however, continue to prefer the nostalgic smell and look of a wood-burning fireplace when the option presents itself. Glass doors and a properly-ventilated chimney can keep stray smoke out of the room. 
  • Self-contained, pellet-burning heat units can also be inserted into an existing wood-burning hearth to achieve a quaint, old-fashioned effect without creating waste smoke.

2. Efficiency

If you want to ensure your fireplace actually heats your home efficiently instead of just looking pretty, you'll need to have sufficient control over its placement and operation.

  • Wood-burning fireplaces without gas attachments can prove difficult to control, since the only way you can control the temperature is by adding more or less wood -- an inefficient process at best.
  • Even older gas fireplaces have a valve you can turn to adjust the amount of fuel expended, while electric fireplaces may come with state-of-the-art digital displays and remote control units.
  • How well you can direct the outgoing heat will also affect the units' efficiency at warming the room. Ceramic glass fronts, secondary heat exchangers, internal fans and direct connection to the home's ductwork can help your fireplace transfer heat more efficiently and create the toasty ambience you seek.

3. Style

Your fireplace will most likely occupy a central point in the living room, so it must complement your current or planned decor. For example, a traditional brick or stone fireplace would look perfectly at home in a rustic living room filled with antique furniture, while a sparse slate or metal fireplace would look better in a modern setting of clean lines and stark color contrasts. But this does not mean that you need to scrap your current fireplace -- simply redecorate it instead. Try the following ideas:

  • Paint your natural brick fireplace in complementary colors, or cover the front with a metal or faux stone surround, and you've accomplished a near-instant instant "face lift" with minimal work.
  • Attach a mantelpiece, or purchase surround that includes one. Mantelpieces provide that extra touch of practicality while giving you the opportunity to show off family portraits, trophies and other points of pride.

4. Location

Believe it or not, these days you can install a fireplace in just about any room that has a space sufficient to contain one. Modern free-standing or insertable electric units can easily fit into a nook or open area in your bedroom, bathroom or study, providing both genuine heat and a warm, comforting ambience. A glass cube fireplace combines the old-style romance of flickering firelight with sleek, minimal design, turning even the most utilitarian room into a topic of conversation.

A beautiful, heat-giving fireplace can enhance any living environment. Whether you're building a new home or refitting an old one, ask your local contractors and designers to find the perfect style and type of fireplace for your needs and tastes.


5 August 2014

Keeping My Air Conditioner On Point

Have you ever stopped to think about the general health of your air conditioner? Although it might seem like a silly thing to worry about, air conditioners need a little tender loving care just like any other home appliance. Unfortunately, it can be hard to detect issues until your system sputters to a halt one day. My blog is all about improving your HVAC experience by learning how to keep it on point. On my blog, you will learn how to check for air conditioning problems, troubleshoot your system, and even find the perfect replacement--should you need to upgrade your system.