Many of us get excited when the weather starts to turn and you wake up to crisp fall mornings with frost on the grass, thinking about the approaching holidays and your favorite winter activities. But with the onset of winter also comes a spike in heating costs, an aspect of the cold, dark season dreaded by many households. Have you considered adding a fireplace to your home? Relying on a furnace as the sole source of heat in your house can be expensive, and adding a fireplace can help lower your utility costs. But a fireplace can do more for your winter experience than just save on energy bills! Here are the top ten reasons why you should add a fireplace to your home today:1. Create a cozy atmosphere

Nothing beats walking into a fire-lit room after a day spent snow shoveling or commuting in the cold. Be it a wood-burning or gas fireplace, watching flames flicker while the warmth from a fire fills your face will help you relax and unwind. Hearing the crackling logs in a wood-burning fireplace can free your mind to wander in a meditative state. Having friends over for a party? They’ll naturally gravitate to the light and warm a fireplace provides. Home alone for the evening? Pull up a chair and a good book, make a nice, hot mug full of hot chocolate or tea, and you’ve got a great evening in front of you.

2. Disperse a welcoming aroma

The smell of a fireplace can be magical, so much so you can buy candles, incense, and even spray that smells just like the unmistakable sent of burning wood. But why would you settle for those when you can have an actual fireplace? Even gas fireplaces have the ability to add inviting scents to your home with options to simmer stove-top potpourri while running, and this option keeps the air from drying out as well.

3. Add value to your home

Having a fireplace in your home is a huge plus for potential homebuyers. Even more so if you’re in a cold, snowy climate. And beyond just getting the attention of homebuyers, they’re also willing to pay more for your house just for the opportunity to have your wood-burning or gas fireplace. You’re not the only one thinking about how to lower your utility costs! Add a new, modern fireplace to your home, especially if you include a hearth or stone work, and watch the bidding war begin.

4. Provide peace of mind during bad winter storms

When a bad storm is in the forecast, everyone starts thinking about their power going out and worries about the worst case scenario — the power being out for weeks. Portable or permanent generators powerful enough to run a furnace are expensive to buy and run continuously. But with a wood-burning fireplace on hand, you have an electrically independent system that can keep you warm through extended blackouts.

5. Supply access to heat for cooking

With a wood-burning fireplace, you have the great additional feature of being able to cook off the flames. This is great for when the power goes out on your electric oven, but it’s also great for roasting marshmallows for your hot chocolate on a cold winter night. Even gas fireplaces can provide a hot top surface for grilling a sandwich or heating up some soup. Coffee starting to cool off in the morning? Set your cup on top of or next to your fireplace for a reheat, and take in a little heat yourself while you wait.6. Have a place to warm your toes

When it’s well below zero outside and your furnace is going nonstop to keep the cold at bay, good luck finding a spot in your house warm enough to thaw your slowly freezing extremities. But with the localized heat of a fireplace, you have a cozy spot to stand real close and warm the blood back into your toes and fingers. But beware, you might have to fight for the prime warming spot with your kids or pets!

7. Design a focal point for a room

A new fireplace can recreate a drab room into the new gathering place of your home. With ever growing design combos for hearths and stone backsplashes, the possibilities are almost endless. Many people dream of having a beautiful mantel above a fireplace to design their perfect living room. Why not do it? Gorgeous fireplaces can create fantastic focal points, and be enjoyed year-round!

8. Create a perfect romantic setting

Beyond just a cozy setting, fireplaces also make a great romantic date spot. Add some extra candles and slow jazz for ambiance. Bonus points if it’s snowing outside. Then pop a bottle of champagne or uncork some wine, and snuggle up in front of the fireplace. You can have a romantic dinner for two, play a game, or do a puzzle. No need to worry about lips freezing together with the warm you’ll get from your fireplace! This is also a great stay-in date option for parents with young kids — no babysitter required!

9. Invest in an eco-friendly alternative

Most home furnaces run off of fossil fuels, either oil or natural gas. Using a wood-burning fireplace, especially if you make an effort to use wood from fallen or sickened trees, as a way to supplement your furnace means that you’re reducing the burning of fossil fuels. Some new fireplace models can even hook into your existing ductwork, allowing for higher heat efficiency and the option to burn wood as your primary fuel source. This also provides you with the option to be less dependent on your utility company and take control of your heating source. Since you’ll be able to shop around for your firewood, or stock up on cheaper green wood a year or two before needing it, you’ll also be able to save money. Live on a heavily wooded property? You might even have an endless supply of free heat!

10. Lower your utility costs

Almost forgot about this one right? The addition of a fireplace has so many benefits to your happiness and lifestyle alone, the fact they also save on energy bills almost becomes an after thought. Adding a new fireplace, be it wood-burning or gas, is a great, cost-saving investment. Running with at least 85% efficiency, new fireplace systems can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year when used as a secondary heat source. And as mentioned above, hooking a fireplace into your existing heating system could potentially allow you to use a wood-burning fireplace as your main source of heat. That’s a significant way to lower your utility costs. And now that we think about it, that’s also another reason having a fireplace will add to your general state of happiness — by keeping more money in your pocket.

There are many reasons why investing in a new fireplace for your home is a great idea. A fireplace will literally brighten your winter experience, and provide countless hours of enjoyment and contentment for yourself, your family, and your guests. So what are you waiting for? Get a fireplace installed and running before the snow flurries start!