Wood-Burning or Electric, which fireplace is the better option for you?

A user friendly guide to prepare you for all your fireplace selection needs:

If you’re looking to buy or build a new house, you may not have thought much about fireplaces. There are two types, electric  and wood-burning. While one is typically associated with new construction or modern homes, and the other is associated more with traditional homes, you may be given a choice. When choosing, it can be helpful to consider things like cost, efficiency, and safety features. Following are just a few of the facts you might need when making your decision. 


For both systems professional installation is required. Electric fireplaces are on average about half the cost to install than wood burning ones. This is because of all the other parts that are required to have a fully functional wood-burning fireplace. After installation, the cost does not stop there. For a wood-burning fireplace, you have to buy wood to keep it running. If you use your linear fireplace often, it’s pretty likely that your gas bill will increase too. So after spending all that money, does it work? 


Linear fireplaces can have one vent, two vents or a direct vent system and on average have an efficiency rating between 50% and 90% for heating a room, and can look like a very real fire, but they have no smell, and only have sound if it’s added artificially.  Unfortunately, wood-burning fireplaces aren’t that efficient, on average they have a rating of only 10% for heating a room (and that could go down even further if there are any issues with the insulation), but you get to hear the crackle of the wood, and it puts off an aroma that most people find pretty comforting. 


Both setups require their own maintenance. An electric fireplace should be inspected yearly, but is otherwise nearly maintenance free. The glass panel on the front of them can get very very hot, so it’s recommended to always cool for at least 45 minutes after using them. Wood-burning fireplaces can take a while to get started and require attention to keep them going, and they should never be left unattended. They also require inspections and cleanings in order to avoid any possibility of a flue fire. 

Your home is a reflection of who you are and what your style is. After gathering your information, if you still have any questions or concerns make sure to ask your builder or your designer. They will be able to give you their recommendations and why, in order to find the best end result that fits with you!

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