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The Fireplace Design Can Tie A Room Together

Ever since man started living under a roof, the fireplace has been the focal point of any living area. It was where people would gather to warm themselves, and often it was where the home’s cooking was done.

The open fire is relaxing, comforting and almost hypnotic on a chilly evening, and attracts attention when the conversation slows and the night wears on.

Today, with the advent of central heat, most people don’t really depend on the fireplace to heat a room. Still, there’s nothing that can compare to the smell, the sound and the visual appeal of a crackling, roaring fire in the fireplace. When the fireplace is considered as a decorative element, fireplace ideas and mantle décor are usually conceived of as a way to complement the rest of the room.

What’s your living room or den like? Is it casual and homey, or a little more formal? Modern and urban, or more rustic?  Do you use the fireplace often? We’ve got some great fireplace and fireplace mantel ideas to run past you.

Fireplace Design Ideas

  • If you prefer to use the fireplace as a heat source for the room, there are ways to make it quite a bit more efficient. Some fireplace units are built with a blower that can move the fire’s heat via convection for more evenly-heated room and less of a burden on the furnace.

Firebacks are also available, and are usually a plate of cast iron or stainless steel that reflects the fire’s heat back into the living space. Newer fireplace designs may feature a firebox that can burn much more cleanly and can offer as much as 80 percent efficiency in heating the room’s air.

There may also be a high-temperature glass window and a heavy masonry structure around the firebox that can provide radiant heat for hours.

  • Modern fireplace designs incorporate a number of safety features as well as enhanced structural stability. Many now feature a metal-lined flue, with a double or even triple layer of metal pipe that runs up the chimney.

Most newer fireplaces are masonry, with a brick or stone hearth and mantle that can provide a great accent and focal point for any room.

Fireplace Remodeling Ideas

Materials are everything when it comes to remodeling a fireplace and complementing the rest of the room. Consider brightening up a drab brick fireplace and hearth with colorful tile and a glass door, or maybe some brass hardware for the firebox.

It’s often a good idea to incorporate some storage for firewood as well, which saves you having to make trips outside to the woodpile in weather where you’d really rather be indoors.

A marble surround can be a great facelift for a dingy stone fireplace, and many homeowners are now putting flat-screen TVs and entertainment systems on the wall above the hearth. This is an especially great idea for a corner fireplace, as you can arrange the rest of the room around the fireplace and TV.

Depending on what the rest of your décor is, a found piece of agricultural or industrial equipment (such as a pulley, a section of window, a gear set or a sickle) can make a great accent over the fireplace mantel and can provide a rustic, interesting touch.

For a traditional drawing-room sort of mood, many have opted for a hunting trophy over the mantel, and of course a mirror and a row of books and knickknacks or collectibles have long been a favorite for dressing up a fireplace mantel.

Fireplace Safety 

It’s important to remember fireplace safety whenever you’re considering a remodel or a fireplace installation.

  • If you can, leave a window cracked a little whenever a fire is burning. This can help prevent carbon monoxide from building up in the room.
  • Leave the damper open while starting the fire, and make sure it remains open until the fire dies out. Never close the damper until the embers are completely cold.
  • Only burn dried, aged wood. Green or wet wood can cause a buildup of soot in the chimney and will produce an excessive amount of smoke.
  • Remember that a smaller piece of wood will burn more quickly and will produce less smoke than bigger logs.
  • Always keep the area around the fireplace clear of anything that could be flammable. That includes books, magazines, furniture, drapes, toys, etc.
  • Make sure your house is equipped with both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and be sure to check them yearly.
  • Never leave a fire burning overnight. Make sure the embers are completely cold before going to bed.

A fireplace is a special feature and adds so much to any house. Take some of these ideas and use them for your own fireplace and mantel!

9 Reasons to Remove Your Fireplace

While a fireplace can look great when it’s lit, how often do you actually use the fireplace in your home? If you’re in a snowy area with plenty of cheap and easily-accessible firewood, maybe you use it all the time.

However, if you’re staring at that hearth and wondering if you should keep it, we'll help you with your decision.

Consider the following reasons why you should remove your fireplace:

1.) Improve the Quality of Your Air

fireplace smoke

It’s probably not a surprise that burning wood inside your house doesn’t do wonders for the air quality. Even the cleanest chimney and the most recently inspected flue still contain allergens and irritants. That can be moved through your house by normal air flow.

When you’re burning wood, of course, that’s an entirely different story. Most of the visible smoke goes up and out the chimney, but that doesn’t mean the air is clean. If you have sensitive allergies or respiratory issues, a fireplace can exacerbate them.

2.) You Haven’t Used it in Years

photo of fireplace in a corner to help show reasons why you should remove your fireplace

Fireplaces all across a place like California, Arizona, and Florida sit cold and dark for most (if not all) of the year. Warm climates all across the country (and all across the world) are set up with fireplaces that are essentially decorative in all but name.

Sure, the mantel is nice, but isn’t a mantel just a shelf that takes up way too much space? If you can’t remember the last time you tossed a log in there and lit it up, you may have found the reason right there why you should remove your fireplace.

3.) The Fireplace Isn’t Warm Enough

photo fireplace too far to help show reasons why you should remove your fireplace

A fireplace is great if you’re physically in the room where it’s located, but the heat doesn’t stretch far beyond your living room or dining room.

Fireplaces and hearts were originally designed for the single-room houses of ancient times, for cooking and heating a small amount of food in a small amount of square footage. If you’ve got a four-bedroom house with two stories, that living room fireplace isn’t exactly making you sweat from upstairs.

4.) The Chimney is Unsafe or Doesn’t Work

photo of red ladder going up a chimney to help show reasons why you should remove your fireplace

Did you know chimneys are supposed to be inspected semi-regularly? Both inside and out. A chimney is almost certainly the most structurally weak point of your house – it’s essentially a stack of bricks and mortar without much reinforcement.

If you suspect your chimney hasn’t been inspected since the Carter administration, maybe it’s time to just cut your losses and get rid of the whole works. Better safe than sorry.

5.) You Aren’t Allowed to Use It

photo of old fireplace to help show reasons why you should remove your fireplace

Clean air laws vary by location, of course, but many places are adopting laws to curtail the use of wood smoke in urban and suburban locations.

While this isn’t an inherently bad thing – mother nature needs a helping hand every now and again – it might mean that you’ve got a useless mantel, fireplace, and chimney sucking up room in your house that you could be using for other things.

6.) You’re Spending More on Energy

photo of too much smoke from chimney to help show reasons why you should remove your fireplace

We’re talking HVAC. Unfortunately, a fireplace is going to be the biggest insulation hole in any house. It is, after all, a huge empty pipe up to your roof.

Even closing the flue doesn’t make a chimney anything approaching airtight or fully insulated. If you’re trying to keep it cool in your house, that air-conditioned air is drifting out through your chimney, while hot air and warmth are coming down. If you’re trying to use your heater, you better believe you’re losing heat through that enormous hole in your wall.

Which is another reason why you should remove your fireplace: cost savings.

7.) You’re Concerned About Fire Safety

photo of too much fire on fireplace to help show reasons why you should remove your fireplace

There are no two ways about it – having a fireplace in the home can be dangerous. Even with a spark-guard, embers can get through.

And if you’re not up-to-date on chimney inspections and cleaning, you may have a build-up of creosote and ashes that could be the beginning of a dangerous chimney fire.

8.) You Want Your Wall Space Back

photo of wall space for fireplace to help show reasons why you should remove your fireplace

Depending on the size of your hearth, you may be losing six to eight feet of space horizontally, and anything from 9 to 14 feet vertically.

You could use that space for windows, shelving, furniture, or anything you like.

9.) Little Kids or Curious Dogs Run Around Your House

photo of fire on fireplace to help show reasons why you should remove your fireplace

A spark-guard won’t stop a little kid from exploring the exciting fire in the hearth. And while most dogs will stay away, there are the more curious breeds who could get in trouble.

If your house is a home for little ones, a fireplace may be more trouble than it’s worth.

Why You Should Remove Your Fireplace

That’s a personal and financial decision, of course. But make sure you happy with your fireplace before you decide to keep it. You’d be surprised how many people have never even considered removing it!

If you never use it and it’s too much hassle, think of all the space you have to gain by having it removed!

How Does an Electric Fireplace Work?

A traditional fireplace is a source of heat and old-school charm. There are the standard issues involved in maintaining them. Like cleaning the ash, chimney cleaned by professionals, buying wood, chopping wood, and the back-straining of hauling wood. If you’re thinking about trying an electric fireplace, but you’re wondering how it works the job, we’re going to walk through the whole process right now and find out if they’re right for your needs.

How is an Electric Fireplace Powered?

how it works the standard three-prong Edison plug electric fireplace

If you’re worried about have to find a spot to run some heavy 220v power, then stress not! Almost all electric fireplaces use a standard three-prong Edison plug and 110v power, meaning pretty much any normal socket in your house can accommodate the electric fireplace just fine.

Run the cable, plug it in, and tack it down against the molding or along the base of the wall and you’re ready to huddle around the warm, comfortable glow.

How Do the Flames Look?

how it works an electric fireplace

Obviously, we use fireplaces because of the warmth, but there’s no denying that they just look great on a cold winter night. The flickering flames, the lambent glow, they pull us back to Christmas, to too cold nights, to cuddles and family.

If you’re worried about losing some of that magic, just know that there are plenty of electric fireplaces that come with built-in logs and realistic-looking flames. But how are the flames created?

For starters, there are no actual flames involved. Instead, the effect is created with a lightbulb or LEDs and is projected in a number of ways. Some of the more elaborate electric fireplaces even use a fine mist spray to create the illusion of smoke and to make the flames look distorted and even more realistic.

How Warm Does the Fireplace Get?

how it works the electric fireplace in our home

The heat being put out is going to depend greatly on the model you buy, but they’re usually capable of putting out somewhere between 400 and 500 BTUs.

While that will definitely warm a medium to a large-sized room and offer some bleed into closer rooms, an electric fireplace isn’t going to serve as your sole source of heat for your entire house. But when placed in a living room, dining room, or any common area, it’s more than enough to get the job done.

The Electric Fireplace: How It Works

how it works the combination of heating coils

Electric fireplaces use a combination of heating coils and low-noise fans to heat the room. They work by drawing cool air in, heating the air with the coil, and then pushing it back out again into the room. This is all done very subtly – it won’t feel like you’re sitting in front of a hot fan.

Instead, it will feel much more like a fireplace than your heater will.

Here's A Relevant Video From YouTube:

What Other Features Does an Electric Fireplace Come With?

how it works, the smoke simulators

There are some highly sophisticated flame and smoke simulators inside of modern electric fireplaces. But they also can come with other exciting features.

For the most part, electric fireplaces with remotes allow you to dial your fireplace in exactly how you want. Set the temperature, change the color, configure how the embers pulsate. And even alter how the false smoke looks, if your unit is equipped with those features.

Another brilliant bit of tech that’s been added to some electric fireplaces is a built-in air purifier. Since the air in the room is being continually drawn into the fireplace and pumped back out again, engineers had the idea to include an air filter to clean allergens and particulate out of the air while keeping it warm.

Now that’s something a regular fireplace can’t do. But how it works with an electric fireplace!

What’s Required for Installation?

how it works, the electric fireplace after installation

You don’t need a professional crew to install an electric fireplace, unlike a normal wood-burning hearth. After delivery, you find a spot for the electric fireplace, set it in place, and plug it in. No construction needed.

Almost all electric fireplaces come with a mantel, frame, and base. And can be placed in your home right away and look like it’s been there forever.

Stay Warm Without the Wood

the electric fireplace: how it works like a real fireplace when its cold

If you either don’t have the room in your house for a standard fireplace. Or you’re concerned about the fire hazard; an electric fireplace is a great substitute.

And because the fireplace is plugged in the socket, if ever there's a problem the breaker will flip. No need to worry about the house burning down from some untended embers.

With the tech for more realistic flames and smoke looking better than ever. And with a firm understanding of how they work, now’s a time to try an electric fireplace.

Choosing Between Gas vs. Electric Fireplaces

Find out which heating source works best for your home, gas or electric. 

If you have a traditional fireplace in your home, then you may have considered upgrading to either an electric or gas-powered system. While each has its own perks and benefits, having the information your need to make a quality decision is the best way to keep your family safe and comfortable, especially during the winter season.

Whichever system you choose, however, you will enjoy convenient heating all through the use of easy to use inserts, which can be installed conveniently in the space you already have for your fireplace.

How do Gas and Electric Fireplaces Work?

A ventless gas fireplace, or electric unit, provides heat without the use of traditional wood burning. An electric unit uses this using a heated coal, and a gas unit provides heat using natural gas. If you’ve ever used a propane barbeque grill, the technology is basically the same.

With electric units, there is a fan within the electric fireplace insert that helps to radiate the heat into a certain area. With a natural gas fireplace, the heating element itself is strong enough to radiate without the use of a fan.

Both these systems take up the same space as a traditional fireplace, but they do not require the same venting that is used to dispel smoke.

By using these alternative fuel sources, homeowners are provided with similar access to heat, without the hassle of having to chop wood, and continuously stoke a flame. Of particular convenience is the fact that lighting and heating are completed almost simultaneously.

Additionally, with a natural gas fireplace, the new system can be connected directly to your existing gas lines.

Gas Powered vs. Electric

While both systems work to provide heat to your home, they each have their own benefits and weaknesses. Some of the perks of each include:

Gas Powered Heating

A natural gas heater works with the gas lines in your home to heat. Because of their gas operation, they have a tendency to radiate more heat, which makes them a better option for larger homes, or homes that are particularly susceptible to the cold. Additionally, because they use natural gas for power, the power can be adjusted simply by increasing the amount of gas.

However, because of their use of gas, they can also be a dangerous choice for homeowners. By burning natural gas, toxic gases are also produced. These include carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxides, which can be fatal if left leaking. Also, the gas used is highly flammable, which can be a serious risk for any homeowner.

Electric Powered Heating

Choosing electric heating for your home may be a safe choice in comparison to gas, but an electric heater is much more limited in its ability to heat. It radiates heat to a limited distance, which makes it a good choice for smaller homes, or area specific heating.

An electric heater is not a good choice for someone looking to heat his or her entire home. This system is energy-efficient so it keeps homeowners safe from fires during heavy usage.

5 Benefits of Gas and Electric Heating

While each system has its own pros and cons, there are various benefits you will enjoy from each. They include:

  • Easy Access to Heating: The biggest downfall to traditional wood burning heaters is the amount of time and care it takes to use them. From sourcing the wood, to lighting it, to then monitoring it to ensure it remains lit, this can be time consuming and takes away from the comfort of your home. With a gas or electric heating element, you can have instant access to heat with the push of a button.
  • Safe Operation: While they can pose some risks for your home, if a propane fireplace insert is installed correctly, it can offer energy efficient heating for the whole home. Also, because you never come in contact with the flame directly, the risk of burning is greatly limited.
  • Easy Temperature Adjustments: When burning wood, there is only one setting, hot. With a gas or electric model, you can easily adjust the temperature the unit produces to create the perfect environment in your home.
  • Convenient Installation: As the name suggests, an electric fireplace insert is an insert that can be installed in place of your traditional fireplace. Also, because they use electricity to heat, they can be installed without the need for venting or ductwork.
  • Stylish Features: Soot, smoke, and smells are a thing of the past when you install a gas fireplace in your home. Not only do they improve the smell of your home, but also they can improve the look with stylish rock finishes and glass styling.

Regardless of the system you choose for your home, you can expect safe and convenient heating the whole family will be able to enjoy.

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Focus Keyword(s): Gas vs electric fireplace, electric fireplace insert, ventless gas fireplace, natural gas fireplace, propane fireplace insert

Meta Keywords: Gas vs electric fireplace, electric fireplace insert, ventless gas fireplace, natural gas fireplace, propane fireplace insert

Top 7 Best Artificial Fireplace Logs for Romantic Living Rooms

If you live in a condo or an apartment, it doesn’t make sense to use real firewood. Besides, it probably has been ages since you actually started a fire. So, of course, it makes sense to turn to the best artificial fireplace logs. Artificial fireplace logs have greater heat output, lower emissions, and also provide a romantic ambiance. As a result, they have grown in popularity. You will be astounded by the number of artificial fire logs available these days. This article is aimed at narrowing down the choice to help you identify the best artificial fireplace logs.

1. Fake Fireplace Logs Pleasant Hearth L-20W Electric Crackling Log

Fake fireplace logs Pleasant Hearth L-20W Electric Crackling Log

This faux electric fireplace log set is among the best artificial fireplace logs. It is an affordable option especially when you are searching for a decorative accent to transform your unused fireplace. The log set is crafted from real birch wood which makes it look like the real thing.

In addition, no two sets of fake fireplace logs are exactly the same. This will make your romantic corner a unique one. The logs have a charred opening to give the illusion of glowing embers. They can also sit directly on the fireplace floor or on existing log grate.

To add to the authenticity, the unit produces a soothing crackling sound of a gently burning real fire. These natural sounds and the design will breathe new life into your home.

Product Highlights

  • It features easy and quick installation. You only need to place the insert into your fireplace and plug into a 120-volt wall outlet.
  • Glowing incandescent lighting.
  • Made from real birch wood and cast iron grate.

Pros

  • The installation process is quite easy.
  • Has a realistic and random ember glow adding to the authenticity.
  • The price is quite affordable.
  • Complements many home decors.

Cons

  • The unit does not produce heat.

Product Details

2. Duraflame DFI021ARU Electric Log Set

Duraflame DFI021ARU Electric Log Set installed in living room

The Duraflame DFI021ARU can easily become the focal point in the living room. It uses energy efficient LED lighting. It has a realistic log set, elegant bronze finish on the log grate, and a pulsating ember bed to give a believable fireplace appearance. The log set usually comes fully assembled to allow an easy setup.

Product Highlights

  • The flame effect is operable with or without the heat.
  • Heat produced by a 4600 BTU heater warms up a space of up to 400 square feet.
  • LED projected flame and remote control.
  • It is 20-inch wide and can, therefore, fit many fireplaces.
  • Beautiful bronze finished log grate.

Pros

  • Attractive design.
  • Simple instructions and easy to set up.
  • Safe for children and pets.

Cons

  • Unrealistic flame.

Product Details

3. Burnt River Oak Vented Gas Log, Natural Gas, 24-Inch Best Fire Logs

Burnt River Oak Vented Gas Log, Natural Gas best fire logs

Sure heat burnt oak gas log provides natural-looking flames. Therefore, it is one of the best artificial fireplace logs out there. The best fire logs have a simple set up hence easy to operate and maintain.

Unlike electric fireplace logs, it has a valve system designed to function in a vented environment. The product only requires the natural gas supply already available in your home. It is built to use a U-shaped dual burner to offer a realistic flame.

Product Highlights

  • Equipped with a manual valve system and a dual burner that uses natural gas.
  • It has minimum dimensions requirements of 28”front width, 21” back width and 15” depth.
  • 50,000 BTU’s and a 12% efficiency.
  • Has eight detailed and hand-painted refractory cement logs that are stacked on a tiered grate.

Pros

  • Beautiful design.
  • Energy efficient.
  • Realistic flame.

Cons

  • Requires an open and working flue.

Product Details

4. Duraflame 20” Crackling Electric Fireplace Log

Duraflame 20” Crackling Electric Fireplace Log

The Duraflame 20-inch crackling electric fireplace log set provides you with a great option to update your fireplace. This product uses LED lights. What does this mean for you? It means that the unit is energy efficient and you will never have to change bulbs.

The flame effects are fascinating and give your home soothing crackling sounds, comforting warmth, and a realistic look even when switched off. The inserts also have remote control taking the overall experience to a whole new level.

Product Highlights

  • Remote controlled unit to help change the heat and power of the flames.
  • Heat produced will warm up a space of up to 400 square feet.
  • Ember bed and log sets pulsate and roll for a more authentic look.
  • Compact log sets that can fit to traditional fireplaces and plugged into a 120-volt outlet.

Pros

  • The price is quite affordable.
  • The system has an easy setup.
  • Multi-functional remote control.
  • Attractive design.
  • Can fit different fireplace sizes and styles.
  • Operable with heat and flame or just flame.

Cons

  • The unit doesn’t give off enough heat.

Product Details

5. Duluth Forge Vented Natural Gas Fireplace Log Set

Duluth Forge Vented Natural Gas Fireplace Log Set

Another product that qualifies as one of the best artificial fireplace logs is the Duluth Forge Vented Natural Gas Log Set. It has been specifically designed to resemble real wood-burning hearth. It has realistic hand-painted logs model using superior refractory ceramics. It should be installed in a vented firebox or a masonry fireplace. Another fantastic feature is the U-burner chassis design that allows full and large flames throughout the log set.

Product Highlights

  • 45,000 BTU.
  • Manual ignition.
  • Minimum firebox size of 18 H x 24 W in front (18 W at rear) x 15 D.
  • U-burner chassis design.
  • The flue must be open when it is being used.
  • Hand-painted logs.

Pros

  • Natural gas operation.
  • Warm and beautiful ambiance.
  • Realistic flame.

Cons

  • Requires a fully functional chimney.

Product Details

6. Dimplex 28-Inch Open Hearth Fireplace Faux Fireplace Logs

Dimplex 28-Inch Open Hearth Fireplace faux fireplace logs

This premium electric fireplace log set is designed to supplement heat in your home and offer a realistic flame. The faux fireplace logs has an attractive design that gives life to your unused fireplace.

The artificial log set has a projected flame, hand finished logs, real grate, and embers that pulsate to produce stunning realism. It has a remote control option and also utilizes LED lighting.

Product Highlights

  • LED flame technology and projected flames.
  • Premium realistic log set.
  • Hand-finished logs and embers.
  • Provides supplemental heat to up to 400 square feet.
  • Its size makes it suitable for larger fireplaces.

Pros

  • Attractive design.
  • Great remote control.
  • Fits perfectly into different fireplaces.
  • Easy to set up.

Cons

  • Doesn’t give off enough heat.

Product Details

7. Napoleon Woodland NEF127H Electric Fireplace Log

Napoleon Woodland NEF127H Electric Fireplace Log

The Napoleon woodland 27-Inch electric fireplace log is an incredible product that features resin logs. They are hand-painted to give an extremely realistic appearance. Manufacturers spared no detail when making this product. The unit’s design makes it perfect for a pre-existing fireplace to improve your living space. The superior construction incorporates ultra-bright LED lighting and comes with a remote control.

Product Highlights

  • 5000 BTU heater plus LED lighting and different heat setting.
  • Multi-function remote control.
  • Fan forced heater that warms up to 400 square feet.
  • Enhanced ember bed and detailed log set for added realism.
  • Adjustable heat output and flame brightness.
  • Can replace both gas and wood fireplaces.

Pros

  • Extremely easy to assemble and install.
  • Quiet and realistic flame.
  • Attractive design.

Cons

  • Does not give off enough heat.

Product Details

Final Word

The best artificial fireplace logs have simple and easy installation options for anyone looking to create a cozy and romantic atmosphere at home. When determining which artificial fireplace logs is the best option for your home, consider the above products, features, pros, and cons.