9 Reasons Why You Should Remove Your Fireplace
- Improve the Quality of Your Air
- You Haven’t Used it in Years
- The Fireplace Isn’t Warm Enough
- The Chimney is Unsafe or Doesn’t Work
- You Aren’t Allowed to Use It
- You’re Spending More on Energy
- You’re Concerned About Fire Safety
- You Want Your Wall Space Back
- Little Kids or Curious Dogs Run Around Your House
- Why You Should 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, consider the following reasons why you should remove your fireplace:
Improve the Quality of Your Air
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 contains 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 isn’t being lightly polluted. While this won’t be a problem for most people, if you have sensitive allergies or respiratory issues, a fireplace can exacerbate them.
You Haven’t Used it in Years
Fireplaces all across 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.
The Fireplace Isn’t Warm Enough
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 hearths 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.
The Chimney is Unsafe or Doesn’t Work
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.
You Aren’t Allowed to Use It
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.
You’re Spending More on Energy
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 air tight 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.
You’re Concerned About Fire Safety
There’s 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.
You Want Your Wall Space Back
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.
Little Kids or Curious Dogs Run Around Your House
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’re really 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!