Choosing between wood burning, gas, ethanol, and electric can be confusing. The following information will help you choose which fireside is best for you.
Most will agree, the ambiance of a natural wood burning fireplace is picturesque, and is hard to beat. However, wood-burning fireplaces require more in maintenance, cost, and are not energy efficient. 90% of heat for wood burning fireplaces goes out the chimney leaving only 10% to heat the room.
In addition to being inefficient, wood burning fireplaces tend to cost $190 annually, while electric and gas firesides run on under half the cost. Yearly chimney cleaning is needed to prevent creosote excess and fires. Wood burning emits much more pollutants into the air.
GAS AND ETHANOL FIRESIDES
Gas and ethanol firesides produce heat with much lower emissions compared to woodburning fireplaces. These firesides produce up to 99% fewer emissions. Both gas and ethanol firesides cost about $60 annually to run and do not require annual clean up of ashes and soot in the chimney.
Typically gas inserts have gas lines and will need to have pressure checks from the main gas supply. Ethanol inserts, on the other hand, do not require this in most cases. Between the two, gas firesides produce more heat than ethanol. Ethanol hearths are ideal for small spaces that are not the primary heat source for the room.
For both inserts, simply turn a switch to ignite flames that produce a warm ambient glow. These hearths turn off with ease making it possible to leave the premises without the worry of a fire burning.
These fireplaces are the cleanest and release no pollutants into the atmosphere. Inserts annually cost about $25 a year and do not require vents. Electric firesides convert all they produce into heat. While gas and ethanol units have various safety features, electric are cool to touch making them very safe for small children and animals.
DESIGN AND BUILDING CODES
When thinking about installing a fireplace each style comes with permits and codes to follow. For a traditional wood burning fireplace, you’ll need a permit from your local government. Unlike many new inserts, wood burning fireplaces have a number of codes that must be met. This would include; chimney standards, flue, opening requirements, and more.
Some gas/ethanol inserts can be (depending on the insert) installed without a permit. When remodeling, inserts are often your only option since traditional fireplaces require much more structural preparation.
When it comes to the design of the room, it’s important to think about the purpose and the location of the hearth. Traditional wood burning firesides work in small/large rooms but are least efficient in producing heat. Ethanol fireplaces are typically used in smaller spaces. Gas inserts heat mid to large sized rooms. Electric firesides are used in spaces grand or small depending on the size.
Trinity Fireside provides various inserts to fit your specific needs! Contact us today to see which fireside works best for you!