Upgrading Your Fireplace

By HomeAdvisor

Updated March 10, 2017

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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