We’re all familiar with that romantic Christmas song with “chestnuts roasting in an open fire”. Having a fireplace at your home gives that cozy feeling perfect for those winter nights when all you want to do is cuddle with somebody you love. But even though a wood-burning fireplace has existed for centuries, having one at your home is no longer eco-friendly or cost-effective. First of all, traditional fireplaces do not really give out heat for your room. They are notorious heat thieves that steal fuel from your room’s air and send it up your chimney. It is also not good for your family’s health, as inhaling burning wood is as harmful as second-hand smoke. You are not doing your lungs any favor when lighting up those logs. Aside from your lungs, Mother Earth is also not smiling, as they contribute to global warming. So what are your alternatives for that crackling sound and warm cozy feel? Here are some great substitutes for a wood-burning fireplace.
Alcohol Gel Fireplace
An alcohol gel fireplace can be a portable and budget-friendly alternative to your dream fireplace. It can heat an entire room compared to your traditional fireplace and does not require a vent. But do not worry as it can create real fire, complete with the crackling and burning, but without the harmful smoke. The typical gel fireplace can last for three hours. Installation will cost you around $200 to $400 and fuel will cost you around $70 per pack. You can actually choose between odorless and scented fuel. Have your room smelling like cinnamon, pinecone, or vanilla throughout the winter.
Another disadvantage of your traditional fireplace is its fixed location. It will cost you hundreds of dollars if you want a fireplace experience in each room. But an electric fireplace is not only eco-friendly and affordable, it is also mobile. All you need is a 120-volt outlet in your room and you can have the fire burning with just a push of a button. It does not emit any pollutants in your home so it is environmentally friendly especially when using LED lights. You can also have the fire burning all year round with an option to emit no heat while running. However, it cannot be used as a heat source alternative in times of a power outage. Purchasing an electric fireplace can cost you just around $500-$1,500 making it an affordable choice.
Direct-Vent Gas Fireplace
For a more permanent option, you can opt to have a direct-vent gas fireplace be professionally installed. The fire will be burning from behind the glass to avoid any pollutants entering your home. But since this requires a vent, you will need someone to install it for you. The fire will be fueled by gas so don’t expect any crackle or a wood-burning scent from your fireplace. The fire can last for extended periods of time without worrying about moisture or exhaust buildup around your place. Installation will cost your roughly $2,000-$5,000. Remember to pick your installation spot just like you would with a traditional fireplace.
Ask yourself if you really want a fireplace for the heat or simply for the scent and sound. If you have a small place with no space for a fireplace (tongue twister), then consider purchasing woodwick candles. These candles feature a natural wick commonly made from organic wood. Lighting them up will give you that crackling fire sound accompanied by your chosen fragrance. Have your room smelling like cinnamon, baby powder, fresh flowers, or even the ocean. You can close your eyes and let your imagination take you to places.
You can get the authentic open-fire feel for your house with these alternatives without risking your environment and your health. Go for the eco-friendly option so you can enjoy your fireplace without racking up your energy bills. There’s one perfect for every home.