Fireplace Visuals And Practical Options
Finding the best gas fireplace insert can be a challenge of aesthetics balancing against practicality. The art of the fireplace is not lost, but finding an insert that gives you the warmth of a flame without the stench of fuel or awkward equipment is a fight worth commitment. Here are a few choices to consider as you look through different fireplace designs and technology features.
Visual Options For Classical, Modern, And Experimental Hearths
Although the idea of a fireplace often reminds people of a few logs inside a stack of stones with a roaring flame, there are more ways to achieve warmth and ember appeal.
That said, start with the classics. There are many different designs that can be carved by hand or fabricated to make the fireplace mantel, smoke shelf, throat, hearth, and other parts that can be embellished for a robust design.
You could have a wooden fireplace mantel and jamb carved into elegant pillars, or solid stone with weathered surfaces to give an antique appearance. If the style existed in the past, it's easy to recreate the image with modern metals and affordable wood sources. The hard part is sourcing original materials that may be hard to find--or illegal, as is the case for products such as ivory.
For modern fireplaces, many sleek and chic metal panels can create an organized and angular design that would fit in with any cubist, minimalist, or other contemporary designs of the late 1900's and early 2000's. Newer designs are in a constant dance between recreating the old and delving deep into the new, as well as marriages of multiple fireplace designs.
Practical Features To Keep In Mind
A vented fireplace insert is probably the best option for buildings that need a strong, cozy flame from a powerful system. The higher yield at the sacrifice of fuel emissions is balanced by sending the emissions out of the closed space.
It's also best to choose a model that has at least a mesh—if not a glass—protective cover. This is to both protect your household from touch burns and to keep the heat of the flame in a continuously swirling, casually delivered folds that avoids wasted energy more than many other insert or fireplace types.
Fireplace manufacturers are always searching for the next step in the hearth technology, and a healthy mixture of new world thinking with old world comfort is what keeps our burning passion alive. Perhaps it's the primal nature of the flame that draws us to enjoy its glow, and to find new ways to bring the gift to the world safely and efficiently.
As you consider your options, be sure to contact a custom fireplace professional if you need help with local installation professionals, air quality inspectors, or servicing contractors to make your fireplace insert lifestyle easier going forward.