A fireplace is an addition to your house that can serve both an aesthetic and functional purpose. Getting heat during cold day is the main reason why most people install a fire place.

However, buying a fireplace is not as simple as selecting one from a catalogue and making a call. It is a decision that requires substantial consideration. The fireplace will be in your house for a long time and if you do not want to regret your decision, you had better take the time to think about.

The following are some questions that you have to answer before you buy a new fireplace:

1. Brand-New Fireplace, or an Upgrade of an Existing Masonry Fireplace?

The majority of people who shop for a new fireplace do so because they no longer want to keep using their existing masonry fireplace. However, if your existing masonry allows you to make upgrades to the fireplace, you may not have to purchase a new one.

One reason is because, you may be unable to find a fireplace that complements the rest of your living space so sticking with the one you already have is the best choice. Therefore, if you truly like the fireplace you already have, acquiring an insertable fireplace may be the best option at your disposal.

Inserted fireplaces can be customized to fit perfectly into your masonry fireplace’s firebox and you can use different types of fuel to heat it. A fireplace insert also saves money and construction efforts that you would need with a brand-new fireplace.

On the other hand, if your old fireplace does not fit in with the rest of the décor or you can afford to construct an entirely new fireplace, then you may go with a new one that fits the space better than the old one.

2. If It’s a New Fireplace, Where Should You Install It?

The location of your new fireplace is a decision that requires serious thought. Once it is installed, it will be very cumbersome to change so you had better make sure of your decision.

The zero clearance fireplaces built in factories nowadays can essentially be placed into any wall in your home. Not only are they heavily insulated so they will not affect your wall but they are also made in different versions so you can either power them using gas or firewood.

Where you place your new fireplace will be determined significantly by the look you want to achieve in that area. Beauty is of major importance to a lot of people.

However, the overarching factor has to be functionality. Where you install the fireplace has to be somewhere where you will be able to feel the heat from the fireplace when you need it.

The most beautifully placed fireplace does not mean much if it cannot heat your place. What is in the space where you install the fireplace will also contribute to the way the entire space looks.

Luckily, if you buy a new fireplace, the technician who installs it will offer some advice based on their experience.

3. How Much Heat Do You Want?

The primary function of a fireplace is to heat your house but the question arises, how much heat do you want? There are several factors that will determine how much heat you want your fireplace to produce.

The climate where you live will obviously be a large factor as someone who lives in Alaska will need much more heat in their fireplace than someone who lives in the Midwest.

The size of the space which you want to heat using the fireplace also matters substantially. You will probably want a very powerful fireplace if you plan on heating a large space measuring 1000 square feet or more. For a small room for example a 500 square foot room, you should probably strive for a more economical model.

Both fireplace inserts and zero-clearance fireplaces are constructed with a range of heat-efficiency ratings. These ratings which assess the total heat produced by the appliance as compared to how much of that heat will be available for your home as contrasted to escaping up the chimney.

4. What’s the Ideal Look for Your New Fireplace?

The ideal look for a fireplace is a personal matter and will ultimately come down to individual tastes and preferences. Two people living in the same house may buy the same fireplace but when they have it installed, will have drastically different looks.

The ideal look for your new fireplace will also be dependent on the interior décor that is already included in your home. If you want, you can change the décor to match the fireplace but it is often more trouble than it is worth. It is better to get a fireplace that matches the décor.

Both zero clearance fireplaces and fireplace inserts made by different manufactures are designed with a variety of shapes, finishes, colors and overall styles. All of them can be considered aesthetically appealing in the right setting.

Therefore, it is up to you to decide the different design elements that give your space the look that most pleases you. Feel free to get creative in this regard as you can use as many combinations of designs to achieve the ideal look for your fireplace.

5. What’s the Ideal Fuel?

The answer to what is the ideal fuel for a fireplace is a hotly debated issue. Maybe as hot as your fireplace is ever going to get.

Once again, the ideal fuel for your fireplace is a matter of personal preference. Many people like the classic look and feel of a fireplace fueled by wood.

Wood fires produce an aroma depending on the type of wood you use. For some reason they feel very familiar to a lot of people.

On the other hand, a wooden fireplace involves a lot of work as you have to collect the firewood, keep adding wood to the fire and clean up the ash when the wood burns down.

Wood also need to be stored and kept dry. The extra effort involved in using a wood fueled fireplace is what discourages most people from getting one and sends them running for a gas appliance.

Contrarily, gas fireplaces are very easy to maintain. Not only do the fires start instantly without much work but they are also very easy to control. However, if there is a fault with the gas line, it can be very dangerous as opposed to a wooden fire that will simply burn out.

6. How Much Maintenance Do You Want to Do?

The final question you should ask yourself is how much maintenance do you want to do on your fireplace. The answer will help make your decision much easier to make.

Wood fueled fireplaces are harder to maintain than gas fueled ones. Wood burning fireplaces leave creosote in the ventilation system which is flammable and need to be cleared at least once a year.

Wood also leaves a mess and requires cleaning up as there is ash, wood chips and soot to regularly clean to maintain the fireplace.

On the contrary, gas fueled fireplaces are usually immaculately clean and require barely any maintenance. They are the type of fireplace you should buy if you are not likely to conduct regular maintenance on your fireplace.

Therefore, wood fueled fireplaces are bound to have more recurrent costs than gas fueled fireplace because of the regular maintenance. You will have to compare that cost with the cost of buying a more expensive gas fireplace with less maintenance costs.

After asking yourself the above questions, it should be easy to make a decision on the fireplace you will buy. Take your time and make the right decision.