It’s that time of year again, where the days are becoming shorter, the mornings are darker and the evenings are colder. Winter is slowly creeping its way toward us, and we are reminded of just how cold our beautiful city can be.
It’s the time when we stay home a lot more, seeking the warmth and comfort of our homes. It’s a great reminder to assess the heating of our dwellings, and the necessity for a fireplace. When it comes to creating a cosy ambience on a chilly night, there is absolutely nothing that beats curling up in front of a fireplace.
Establishing the main function & purpose of your fireplace
First, you must assess the main purpose of what you are requiring from a fireplace. Is it purely for heating, is it largely for aesthetics, or perhaps is it a combination of both? This question should then prompt you into deciding on a gas, wood burning or electric fireplace. Then there is the newest arrival on the market, the eco-fuel fireplace. Here in Melbourne we normally combine a fireplace in conjunction with central or ducted heating. Hiring a heating and cooling expert will ensure that the square meterage of each area to be heated is taken into consideration and accounted for.
Electric fireplaces are possibly the easiest of all fireplaces to introduce into an existing home as they generally come out of a box, so there is no construction and most just plug straight into the wall. Well-designed electric fireplaces can mimic the look of gas and wood burning fireplaces. They are inexpensive and take a fraction of time to start heating a room. However electric fireplaces can consume a large amount of power and I would argue that they lack the grandeur and impact of a built-in fireplace.
A built-in fireplace can visually enhance the interior architecture of your home. A built-in fireplace can really create a wow-factor and can complete your overall fireplace experience in scale and capability. I like nothing more than combining a beautiful finish to the wall structure around the fireplace and often incorporate joinery into the design, particularly if the fireplace is in a living area.
Gas and wood burning fireplaces
Both gas and wood burning fireplaces are required to be flued outside and there are debates over which is more sustainable. Gas is certainly better than electricity however it’s imperative that you compare the efficiency of each model, as they will differ considerably. It is widely argued that gas fireplaces are more environmentally friendly as the heat is consistent as opposed to wood burning fireplaces that only heat while the logs are burning. If a slow-combustion set up is used then wood burning fireplaces are relatively eco-friendly, especially when only ever burning sustainable timber. Gas fireplaces are easier to use, as you can turn it on with the flick of a switch. More and more gas fireplace models now even have remotes so you needn’t even leave the comfort or your armchair.
Hugely important are also aesthetics of course! The visual appearance should also be taken into consideration when selecting the appropriate fireplace for your home. If you require a more traditional and earthy look then you certainly will love the appearance of a wood burning fireplace. However if a streamlined contemporary look is more in keeping with your aesthetic, then the designs of the slick contemporary gas fireplaces available on the market will definitely please you.
Eco fuel fireplaces
Eco fuel fireplaces use bio-ethanol to create a heat source. These attractive fireplaces are versatile as no flue is required and they can be installed anywhere in your home. Bio ethanol fuel is also environmentally friendly and creates a no clean, no fuss heating solution. Perhaps my biggest attraction to these little beauties is their appearance. They are cleverly designed and create an instant stylish addition to any home.
So stay warm, this winter dear readers. I hope you have enjoyed reading about this hot topic!