Creative fireplace
Your fireplace might be comfy, but it’s also an energy efficiency nightmare. Use these tips to cut back on your fireplace’s energy waste without sacrificing its oh-so-cozy atmosphere.

Before upgrading your fireplace, hire a professional chimney sweep. Over time, soot can build up in your chimney, limiting the airflow, creating blockage and — in extreme cases — causing fires. A professional chimney sweep will remove any home-threatening buildup and offer advice about the best upgrades for your chimney.

Fireplace upgrades come in three varieties: gas, electric and wood. Gas fireplaces are popular for their convenience and heating power. While there is a visible flame in gas fireplaces, the smell and crackle-pop of traditional fireplaces is missing. Installing a fireplace insert also cost around $2,000, making them a hefty investment for some. Electric fireplaces are easier to install and have less of an impact on utilities. But, electric fireplaces produce minimal heat — roughly that of a space heater. Most homeowners buy electric fireplaces for their cost and energy efficiency. If you like the idea of efficiency but still want the smell and cozy look of a traditional fireplace, consider a wood-burning insert. Wood inserts use electric fans to keep fires burning at optimum temperatures and spread heat throughout the room. Similar to gas inserts, wood-burning inserts will cost around $2,000.

If you’re unsure how to approach your fireplace upgrade, call a pro to find the perfect solution for your home and your budget.

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