Finding an indoor fireplace that fits your home

December 29, 2014

The modern, energy efficient fireplace is most often used as a focal point in a room, built to add style as much as heat. Here are a few tips for buying an indoor fireplace.

Finding an indoor fireplace that fits your home

Types of indoor fireplaces

There are several types of indoor fireplaces that use different fuels. Each provides a particular aesthetic and level of convenience.

Electric fireplace

Electric fireplaces offer maximum convenience, while still emitting the heat and aesthetic of a natural fireplace.

Gas fireplace

Gas fireplaces come in a wide variety of styles that are easy to operate with the touch of a button. They leave no ash and are energy efficient compared to wood stoves.

  • However, they require a gas feed into the home.

Propane fireplace

Propane is a natural gas and can be used for fireplaces when there’s no gas line to the home.

Ethanol fireplace

Ethanol-burning fireplaces combine the eco-friendliness and convenience of an electric fireplace with the aesthetic of a real crackling fire.

  • They can be mobile or built into a wall, and ethanol fuel burns much cleaner than other fuels.

Wood stove

Modern wood stoves combine energy efficiency with the authentic sights and smells of a real fire.

  • Pellet stoves are a type of wood stove that burns pellets of wood for greater efficiency and fewer harmful emissions.

Indoor fireplace features

  • Flame control: Some fireplace models may come with adjustments to change the intensity of the flame.
  • Heat: Electric fireplaces usually have separate controls for the flame and heat so you can enjoy the ambience of the flame without adding heat to the room.
  • Remote control: Electric and gas fireplaces sometimes have a remote control.

Consider this

There are factors to consider when buying an indoor fireplace.


Electric and gas fireplaces come in designs to match a home’s style, from traditional to contemporary.

  • They are sometimes designed to fit into existing fireplace mantels and some come as a complete unit, with firebox and mantel included.
  • Some are designed to be shallow like a picture frame so you can hang them on a wall.
  • There are even table-top designs.

Built in or mobile

Some electric fireplaces are mobile like a piece of furniture.

  • Gas fireplaces are not mobile since they must be attached to a gas line.
  • Wood-burning stoves are also stationary since they must be attached to a chimney.


Direct vents for gas and propane and chimneys for wood-burning stoves are required.

  • Lower emission fireplaces like a pellet stove can be vented with a small hole in your wall instead of an entire chimney.
  • Electric and ethanol-burning fireplaces can be used safely without vents.

Cozy ambience

Create cozy ambience in your home with an indoor fireplace styled to match your existing decor.

Depending on your choice of fireplace, you could be looking at nothing more than adding a furniture-like fireplace or you may need an costly renovation to build a chimney or a venting system. Either way, now you know what’s involved.

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