Big Thank you to North Shore Fire Place for sponsoring this post. I am being compensated for this post. However, this does not change my thoughts and feelings on this important subject.
There is nothing quite like sipping hot chocolate before a roaring fire when the snow is building up outside. Unlike the traditional furnace, a fireplace serves double duty to keep you warm and cozy while creating a homey atmosphere too. Getting the most of your fireplace means keeping it running efficiently to prevent heat from escaping up the chimney. Sometimes this means installing a new fireplace or a fireplace liner to create an energy efficient alternative to the main furnace in your home.
Keeping costs down for labor and installation
Do Prep Work Yourself: Although you will need a professional installer to make sure your installation is safe and meets codes, there is some work you can do yourself to save money. Cleaning and prepping the area before the contractor arrives and completing final touches that does not compromise safety may save hours of labor for the installer, and save you money that you can use for that bear rug in front of the fire you’ve been dreaming of.
Seek Certified Professional Installers: It may be tempting to opt out of the professional installation and attempt to install the fireplace on your own –or take your friends up on their offers to help, but it may not be as cost effective as it seems. The added costs of correcting your mistakes or the energy loss you experience because of faulty installation – let alone the safety risks your family may face – are not worth the risk.
Ask for References: Talk to others who have used the service company you are considering. They can give you valuable insight into the reputation of the installers and the quality of their work. Simply choosing the lowest price to get the job done is not always a bargain, as you may incur costly repairs in the future if the job is not done right. Take your time and choose the installer wisely.
Consider You Options
Fireplace Inserts: if you existing fireplace has seen better days, an insert may be the most economical way to go. Both wood burning and pellet burning inserts are available. The insert blocks off the draft from the existing fireplace and contains the heat within the firebox, which is then directed back into the room. This saves energy, and puts money back in your pocket, while providing you with a steady source of heat and the ambiance only a roaring fire can create.
Vented Fireplaces: Vented fireplaces also require professional installation, but do not require a bricked chimney like traditional fireplaces. They draw air from the outside through a small vent and feed the heated air into the room. Vented fireplaces look and feel like a traditional fireplace, but come with a lower price tag, saving you money.
Ventless Fireplaces: Ventless fireplaces typically burn gas and do not create the roaring flame of burning logs, but many gas logs like the ones seen here by Northshore Fireplace, produce realistic flames. These are easy to install and can be placed near walls. Ventless fireplaces are efficient as no heat escapes through chimneys or other vents.
Don’t Forget a Heat Exchanger: According to Energy.Gov , a heat exchanger installed above the firebox of your fireplace captures lost heat and forces it back into the room. This prevents hot air from escaping up the chimney and lowers your heating bill, while keeping your warm and toasty before the fire.
According to WoodPellets.com, burning pellets is an economical alternative to either propane or oil and provides steady heat. Heat from wood pellets is similar to burning logs as the heat radiates throughout the home, warming the entire area instead of pushing hot air like many traditional furnaces. If using logs in your fireplace is not realistic for you, one that burns wood pellets provides both the familiar fragrance of burning wood and cozy warmth.
Choosing the alternative that works for you, while keeping your eye on installation costs and the efficiency of the model you choose puts you in control and keeps you within your budget.
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