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Consider These Options in Fireplaces

When you picture the ideal living room in your mind, what usually comes to mind?  Among other things, probably there's a fireplace in your ideal room, isn't there? For some reason, a fireplace has such a magical mystique that almost nobody dislikes one.  It enhances the room, it keeps you warm, it draws the family together, and let's face it:  It improves the resale value of the house. What's more, there are so many options available these days that just shopping for a fireplace can be an experience in itself.  If you don't have the magic of a fireplace in your living room (or den or dining room), but want it, here are some things to look for when you go shopping.

1) Gas Fireplace.  Of course, when we think of fireplaces, we tend to think of the wood-burning variety.  After alll, that's traditional.  However, many people who are remodeling their house, or who have  bought a newly-constructed home, are opting for the gas fireplace. And for good reason. The gas fireplace is as beautiful as a wood fireplace, but much simpler to use.  It's also quite affordable. The gas fireplace works with "gas logs." These provide for a heating process that is designed to help keep your energy costs to a minimum.  One of the most popular varieties of gas fireplace is the self-contained unit.  This one has glass doors plus blowers. The blowers ensure that the warm air is circulated evenly around the room. A gas fireplace will typically cost somewhere between $1,500 and $5,000,  depending on how elaborate the unit is that you select.

2) Pre-Engineered Wood Fireplace. This one looks for all the world like a genuine masonry fireplace from years gone by.  However, unlike those traditional wood-burning fireplaces, this one is totally insulated. Therefore, it can be installed quite close to combustible materials and be perfectly safe.  But for many people, the real beauty of this one is its affordability:  It will only run you about $500 (give or take a little) to install one.  And they usually come with gas logs, or at least a gas lighter kit.

3) Gas Lighter Kit.  We've already mentioned the use of this with the pre-engineered wood fireplace.  No matter what sort of wood fireplace you have, this kit will save you a lot of time. It's connected to a gas line which you install inside the fireplace.  After you set the wood logs inside, you just turn on the gas for a minute or two to start the fire. Once the fire is going, you shut it off, and the wood will burn by itself. A plumber will generally install the line for you.

4) Gas Log System.  This is something else you'll want to check out if you go with a wood-burning fire place.  If you dread the mess of wood (not to mention the cost), this sytem is installed in the fireplace and comes with authentic looking logs that are actually made of ceeramic.  To start the fire, you just turn on the gas and BOOM! Instant "log" on fire. One of the benefits of this system is that you can control the room's temperature almost as if you were using a thermostat control.  Some people are turned off by the fact that a ceramic log can run as much as $500, but keep in mind that a ceramic log will last a long time, because even when you turn it off, the heat will still emanate from it for some time.

So if your house currently lacks the magic and charm of a fireplace now is the time to correct that deficiency. Mark these words: You will never regret installing a fireplace.

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