Last Updated Apr 17, 2012 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald
A fireplace is not only something to warm your home; it is a beautiful addition that becomes a real feature. Two of the main types of fireplaces that are available today are the gas and electric fireplaces. Each have their own pros and cons so how do you decide which is right for you? We’ve put together a guide to help you make the best choice. Here’s what you need to know.
Gas fireplaces are great because they are able to accurately replicate the look and ambience of a traditional wood burning fireplace without the effort. This is because they use artificial logs that look just like the real thing but are made from ceramic, ceramic fibre, or concrete. You can easily operate your gas fireplace by hitting a button on the wall, or even by using a remote, so you can turn the fire on without even having to get up.
If your gas fireplace is flued, the fumes that are created are vented to the outside of the home so that your indoor air remains clean. Ventless gas fireplaces are another option if you don’t have a chimney as you don’t need to vent them to the outside of the home. This means you can install them cheaply and easily, mount your fireplace on the wall, or even have a fireplace in the bathroom! Gas fireplaces are also a cheaper to run option in many areas of Australia, depending on the price of gas. It is also more environmentally friendly using gas to operate your fireplace.
You have a lot of flexibility when it comes to the design of your gas fireplace as well. You can have it built in or freestanding and it can be traditional masonry or one of the newer, sleeker metal designs. If you’re opting for a mantel, you can opt for real or faux wood, tiles, bricks, stone, it’s really up to you.
An electric fireplace is one of the easiest to operate fireplaces available – just turn it on with the flick of a switch! All you need to install the fireplace is a power point nearby. Electric fireplaces are often installed for their ambience rather than their heating capabilities but most modern units are powerful enough to heat the room that they are installed in, if not a wider area.
Electric fireplaces give you the look of a traditional masonry wood burning fireplace, and you get a very realistic look and feel. The electric fireplaces come with a large viewing area so that you can see the fire from anywhere in the room and they are very easy to install. However, because they run using electricity, they can be expensive depending on how much electricity costs in your area.
Electric fireplaces are great because they give off no fumes or carbon dioxide and thus they don’t need to be vented like other types of fireplaces. Because of this, you also have a great deal more flexibility of where your electric fireplace is installed.