[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”500″ size=”13″ bg_color=”#4a8891″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]Writer: Jenny Levinson
Bio: Jenny Levinson is an environmental journalist, currently working as a freelance writer for various print and web publications.[/mks_pullquote]
With winter well on the way many of us are thinking about how to heat our homes in the coming months. A great way to lower your heating bills and enhance a room is with the addition of an indoor fireplace. There are a few things to consider when it comes to indoor fireplaces, including fuel type, placement and installation.
Finding the Right Fuel
If you are not using or planning to install a traditional wood burning fireplace, than you have a couple of options, including natural gas, propane, ethanol, bio-ethanol and electricity.
According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, natural gas is likely going to be the cheapest burn, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the cleanest.
Since your fireplace will be used in an indoor environment, it’s best to choose alternative burning fireplaces like the one pictured here. Clean burning fuel such as bio ethanol eliminates the harmful emissions that can be released and inhaled during and after the combustion process (when you use it) in traditional fireplaces. When choosing a bio ethanol burning fireplace, make sure that the brand or manufacturer is UL or ULC certified, meaning that its chemical emissions have been tested and are suitable for indoor environments.
Getting it Right First Time: Placement & Installation
If you’re investing in an indoor fireplace, you want to make sure that you install it properly the first time. If you choose to purchase a portable model you don’t need to worry about placement so much. However if you choose a wall-mount model you should think carefully about the placement of the indoor fireplace as well as the structural integrity of the chosen wall… We don’t want our brand new fireplaces to crash and burn!
So first select a wall/location/room that needs warming. Be sure that the placement is not too high so that when you’re refilling fuel you can access your wall unit easily and don’t risk either falling or spilling fuel.
You probably don’t want a lot of other household items either above or below your fireplace, mostly because you want your indoor fireplace to take the focal point of the room. Finally when you’re installing your fireplace make sure that you read and follow the instructions very carefully and that you’ve chosen a wall that can handle drywall anchors, meaning if you’re in an apartment, don’t try to install it on a concrete wall at all or at least not without the help of qualified professionals. Some wall-mount fireplaces are easier to set up than others.
Historically, indoor fireplaces were essential for winter survival, today they are essential for a chic décor, making the winter months more bearable or just cuddling up to loved ones or a good book. So go ahead… fire it up!