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Which Fireplace System is Right for You?


There’s nothing like having a real, working fireplace in your home, especially during the first chill of autumn or around the holidays. But which modern fireplace option is right for your situation, and what are the differences between them?

Wood Burning

The real deal, wood-burning fireplaces provide an authentic experience and a substantial amount of heat when equipped properly. Despite the fact that standard wood-burning fireplaces are extremely inefficient, wood produces a great deal of heat and is relatively cheap to source.

Unfortunately, burning wood can decrease the quality of the air inside your home and the chimney will need to be cleaned routinely. The open chimney can also cause a draft and drain warm air out of your home when the fireplace is not in use.

Gas Retrofit

Many older homes incorporate wood burning fireplaces. But, if you don’t want to deal with buying, storing, or handling wood, it is possible to retrofit the existing fireplace to work as a gas system.

In this system, a log set and gas system are installed into the existing masonry to cleanly simulate a real fireplace. It’s an inefficient system, in terms of heating efficiency, but it looks beautiful and is a relatively affordable option.

Fireplace Insert

Fireplace inserts are more expensive than the gas retrofit system above and have a smaller viewing area, but they are also safer and even cleaner.

The entire fireplace system is in a sealed box that is installed inside the existing fireplace, or a custom receptacle. Because it is sealed, the intake, flames, and exhaust are securely isolated from the rest of the home.

Direct Vent

Direct vent fireplaces resemble fireplace inserts, but are designed to pull fresh air from outside your home for combustion, as opposed to pulling air from within your home.

This design conserves some energy (as your warm interior air won’t be exhausted out of the unit) and will not diminish your indoor air quality, as the unit completely segments the combustion of the fireplace from your interior environment.

If you’re interested in exploring fireplaces and fireplace installation for your home, contact Baumann & DeGroot. We’ve been serving Holland and the communities of greater West Michigan for over 20 years, and would love to answer your fireplace system questions today! Still need more information? Check out our blog or Facebook page here.

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Baumann & Degroot was founded in 1994 in West Michigan.

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