Can You Convert Your Fireplace?
Converting an existing fireplace isn’t just an aesthetic choice! While an older-style wood burning fireplace is lovely, they do require upkeep and having an evening fire means really committing to that fire for the evening.
For families with small children or pets, there can also be safety concerns with a traditional fireplace, and so these fireplaces may not be the best option.
A modern fireplace has a number of advantages. One is that you can turn them on- or off- as the mood strikes. Outside of Winter, or ‘fire season’, if you strike an especially cool evening, it’s no problem to flick your fire on. They generally require a lot less maintenance than a traditional fireplace. Also, lugging wood around can be a pain- and an ongoing expense!
If your chimney is no longer functional, don’t despair! It’s still absolutely possible to find an insert to suit, turning your non-functional, even draughty, hole-in-the-wall into the focal point of the room.
You can choose from a variety of options when you come to convert your fireplace. You might want a glass-fronted, gas, wood, or open fireplace. If you are installing a fireplace insert that uses the chimney as a vent, be sure to have the chimney professionally cleaned and inspected before installation to avoid the risk of chimney fires.
Gas Fire Insert
A modern gas fireplace can actually give out more heat than an older style fireplace, with less upkeep without the health or environmental concerns associated with wood burning. This option can be slightly more expensive but give a great look and high heat.
Electric Fireplace Insert
This fireplace option does not need to vent to the outdoors, making it an excellent choice for nonfunctioning chimneys.
Vented Gas Log
This is an attractive option and can feel very similar to ‘the real thing’. Because you must leave the damper open at all times with vented gas logs, it’s not usually a preferred option for large spaces, or as the primary source of heating in Winter.
Wood Pellet Fireplace Insert
Cleaner burning than wood, wood-pellet stoves can provide a lot of heat and are relatively cost effective to run. Some chimneys may need to be outfitted with a metal insert for safety.