Gas And Electric Fireplace Designs

3Ever since man first discovered that fire was a good source of heat he has been ever upgrading it’s usefulness. Imaginative minds have always wanted to take this basic tool and make it not only more economical but also appealing to the senses. For centuries, the fireplace was the focal point of family life. It provided necessary warmth for survival, a source for cooking, and light. As the search continued for more efficient ways of heating, various designs were experimented with.

Wood burning stoves made from cast iron began making their way into homes with the advent of the industrial revolution. This allowed for a more centralized heat source. Manufacturers created their own unique artwork and amenities that have made their products collector’s items today. When gas and electricity came along the fireplace was quickly retooled to take advantage of the new resources. Unlike the mundane presence of today’s furnaces (that are always hidden from view), gas or electric fireplaces still know how to show-case their surroundings.

The choices that are available these days are almost endless. There are units that can be wall mounted, placed in a corner or inserted into an existing fireplace, and unlike the traditional wood burner there is no need of a flue for venting.  Styles range from polished wood cases that boast intricate carvings to free standing replicas of an eighteenth century pot-belly stove. With the use of modern technology they can be thermostatically controlled to create the right mood by adjusting the flame or even simulating the glow of embers and the sound of crackling noises.

Accessories for the fireplace can give it a personality worthy of it’s surroundings; even if it is not burning real wood. Dress it up with such items as brass andirons and maybe a log bucket or rack as well as fireplace tools for authenticity. Mantles can be decorated with steamers or candelabras. Some people use them as a place to display a special trophy or an heirloom.

Whatever the design plan may be, keep in mind that certain requirements need to be met. Natural gas or propane fireplaces must have access to those fuels. Electric units need to have an outlet close by. There may be the need for some sort of fire retardant material around the heat source if it is required by local codes. Certain cleaners might have to be purchased to protect glass, stone, brick or stainable metal surfaces. Periodic cleaning and scheduled maintenance will assure many years of enjoyment.

Having a gas or electric fireplace not only brings beauty and serenity into a room but it also increases the value of a home. The initial cost may be no more than a few hundred dollars but it will be an investment that is returned many times over on those cold winter nights that lie ahead.

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