If you are considering adding warmth, value and style to your home, a fireplace is a great option. Be sure to consider all of the options to find the best fit for your home. Wyckoff Heating & Cooling has the answers you have been looking for, no matter your preference or budget. Read on to learn the benefits of all fireplaces, and the specifics on wood-burning, gas and electric.

 

  • How do I know if a fireplace can be installed in my home? Due to the improvements in fireplace installation and technology, there are fireplace options for almost every application. Wyckoff Heating and Cooling to discuss which fireplace best fits your space and needs.
  • Are fireplaces energy efficient? Although not yet as efficient as modern-day, high efficient gas furnaces, fireplaces can be efficient and effective energy-saving space heaters. Sealed units have the mechanics, controls, and venting systems to use outdoor air for combustion, reduce thermal loss and effectively supplement your home’s heating system. A fireplace used for “zoned” or area space heating can decrease the energy demand on the furnace and reduce utility bills by allowing you to adjust your thermostat.
  • Does a fireplace add value to my home? Not only can a fireplace increase your home’s resale value, it may also be a bonus feature that prospective buyers are looking for! According to The Hearth Product Association, a fireplace hearth remains the most preferred amenity for a home and in some cases, could produce a 130% return on your investment.
  • Should I invest in an electronic, wood burning or gas fireplace? Just as each home is unique, so is the decision to install an electric, wood burning or gas fireplace. You should also consider options for fuel. If you have space to safely store stacks of wood, or an existing source of natural gas or propane, then you’ll increase your options.
  • Are fireplaces safe to use indoors? As with anything, you want to be certain the selected fireplace is designed for indoor use, is installed according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions and installation methods comply with local building codes.
  • Do fireplaces give off heat? If so, how much? Fireplaces are designed to produce additional space heating. You will want to select the fireplace with the correct amount of heat for the area you would like the fireplace to impact.  A fire that delivers 21,000 BTUH of heat provides sufficient heat for approximately 1,000 square foot area. If selecting a wood burning fireplaces remember certain woods burn hotter and last longer then others, including fruitwood and oak. Remember, the harder the wood, the longer the burning period.
  • Are the fire emissions harmful to human or pets? Just like your furnace or water heater, fireplace emissions can contain harmful emissions. For this reason, you will want to be sure your fireplace is installed according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions and that the installation is completed according to local building codes.
  • Can my fireplace be mounted to a wall? Depending on the fireplace, it could be mounted to a variety of walls including (but not limited to) sheetrock, lath and plaster, poured concrete or concrete block.
  • Can I recess my wall and mount my fireplace into the wall? It will depend on the fireplace you select. While usually possible to recess the fireplace, some models do not provide this option, the amount of recess will depend upon space and how the home was originally constructed.
  • Can I clean the glass panel on my fireplace? Yes. However, you will want to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure it is done correctly and will not harm the glass.Fireplace glass fronts will typically require a different or special glass cleaner to properly clean and protect the glass.
  • What is the average cost of a new fireplace? Smaller, electric models are available for installation starting around $500. Gas and wood burning models can range from $1000 to $15,000. Due to the wide range of installation costs, it may be best to visit with a Wyckoff Fireplace Professional to discuss what option best suites your home and budget.

Gas Specific:

  • Are gas fireplaces safe? Yes, the right model, installed accurately is perfectly safe for your home. This is why we recommend you having a HVAC company install your fireplace.
  • Can I add accessories later? Usually, yes. You can change the way your fireplace, stove or insert looks any time in the future. Add full screen doors, install brick panels and more to match the look and feel of your home.
  • Can I adjust the heat output? Yes, virtually all of our models have a flame/heat adjustment. You can reduce the heat output by up to 50 percent.
  • Can I convert my existing wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace? It is usually possible and quite popular to convert a wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace for efficiency and convenience. Natural gas is inexpensive and burns much cleaner than a wood burning fireplace. Just be sure you have a professional complete the installation for safety reasons.
  • Can I install the gas fireplace myself? While it may be possible to install a gas fireplace yourself, we do not recommend it unless you are properly licensed and trained to do so.
  • Can I install a TV above the gas fireplace? Probably. We recommend that you check the TV’s installation manual to verify.
  • Do gas fireplaces need electricity to work? Most fireplaces manufactured today are designed to operate in the event of a power outage. A gas fireplace can be a great way to heat your home in the event of a power outage.
  • Can the glass on the fireplace be removed? The glass on your fireplace should only be removed when the fireplace is turned off and the unit is cooled.
  • How much wall reconstruction is necessary to install a gas fireplace? This will depend on how and when the home was originally constructed. Some fireplace installs require very few wall repairs, while others require considerable wall reconstruction. This question can be more accurately addressed after a qualified technician has inspected the area.
  • What is a vent free gas fireplace? A gas fireplace that does not require the installation or connection to a vent pipe/flue is considered vent free. Depending on the fireplace model, it could be designed for indoor or outdoor use. Careful considerations must be discussed and followed when installing vent free fireplaces indoors.
  • What is a direct vent fireplace? A fireplace that vents directly out a side wall or through the ceiling of your home and has a completely sealed combustion chamber is considered direct vent.
  • What is a B-Vent or natural draft gas fireplace? A B-vent fireplace draws air (necessary for combustion) air from within the home. The combustion by-products or flue gases are hot and naturally rise up through the vent.
  • What is the difference between natural gas and propane? Visit the following link for an in-depth comparison: http://www.propane101.com/propanevsnaturalgas.htm
  • When should I consider a gas fireplace insert? If you are tired of cutting and storing wood, installing a gas fireplace insert may be a great option to consider. And, similar to a wood burning fireplace, a gas fireplace can also be a great way to heat your home in the event of a power outage. Most fireplaces manufactured today are designed to operate in the event of power failure.
  • Do I have to vent my gas fireplace up through the roof? No, all you need is proximity to an outside wall. This can make installation flexible and could reduce installation costs.
  • Do I need to tear out a wall to install a gas fireplace? Typically No. Access holes may need to be made to allow for installation. A qualified technician would be able to explain why and where access would be needed. This reduces the impact on your home for the overall installation.

Electric Specific:

  • Are permits required to install your electric fireplaces? This will depend on the electric fireplace selected. Sometimes specific permits are necessary for installation. It is recommended that a certified professional install any built-in fireplace.
  • Will my electric fireplace plug into any standard outlet? Again this will depend on the model that is selected. The majority of our electric fireplaces are ready to plug into any standard 120V household outlet.
  • How large of an area will my electric fireplace heat? Electric fireplaces can function as a supplemental heat source for rooms up to approximately 400 square feet. Built-in electric fireboxes can be hardwired to 240V power to heat a room up to approximately 800 square feet, and infrared electric fireboxes are capable of heating up to approximately 1,000 square feet.
  • Are electric fireplaces cost-efficient? Electrical rates vary from utility providers. Therefore, the cost-effectiveness of electric fireplaces can vary depending on the price you pay for electricity. Electric fireplaces are great for area or space heating – you may even be able to take it from room to room.
  • Is it safe to move the electric fireplace once it is assembled?This will depend on the product you select. Electric fireplaces are unique in that they do not require venting. Therefore, it may be possible to move the fireplace.
  • How many watts does it give off per hour? On average, 5000           watts for all standard units. Other models can produce additional heat.
  • Does an electric fireplace require any venting or a chimney? Electric fireplaces are vent free, so there is no need for any chimney, venting, or gas lines. There is no open flame, no mess or clean up either.
  • Do electric fireplaces give off any fumes or gases? Highly popular for their family-friendliness, electric fireplaces do not emit any fumes, CO2, smoke, emissions or any pollutants.
  • Is maintenance required with electric fireplaces? If maintenance is needed, typically it is as simple as changing light bulbs. However, many new models contain LED bulbs, which last up to 20,000 hours and would not need replacement during the lifetime of the fireplace.

If you have additional questions contact us today or read more of our helpful articles on fireplaces.