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Upgrading Your Fireplace

Who doesn’t love the warmth and charm of an old traditional fireplace? However, while they look nice, they heat inefficiently, they can be unhealthy, and they can have a negative effect on the environment. They provide little heat for the home and are a source of wood smoke, which contains gases and particles which can cause bronchitis and respiratory problems such as asthma. However, that doesn’t mean that a fireplace is not an option, as today’s fireplaces offer new and much cleaner technology.


Today’s modern built fireplaces will give you all the beauty of a traditional fireplace, along with energy and quality indoor air by incorporating modern technology. These fireplaces are engineered pre-built units which are rigorously tested by national and international organizations. Modern fireplaces have advanced combustion systems, heat exchangers, and tight fitting ceramic glass doors. Some units also include duct kits which allow you to distribute the warm air to other rooms. These fireplaces will provide heat, as well as the romantic ambience you get from a traditional wood fireplace.


If you would like to upgrade your existing fireplace in order to get energy savings, you could have one of the new certified fireplace inserts or certified hearth mounted stoves or wood masonry heaters installed.


In these modern fireplaces, the firebox and heat exchanger is surrounded by an insulated sheet metal casing in order to avoid overheating the surrounding spaces. This also opens up your choice of style. The enclosure can be surrounded with tile, brick, or whatever you want in order to create a modern or traditional style, depending on your taste and décor. These new systems don’t require any new or specific foundation or reinforcement.


Traditionally, wood was the fuel that was burned in fireplaces, and these new fireplaces can use them very efficiently. However, about 70 percent of these new fireplaces and fireplace inserts burn gas. Another new option is a pellet fireplace insert, and it is another excellent option for efficiency.


These advanced pre-built fireplaces may use a lightweight steel chimney, and they do not require additional footings or structural supports. The fireplace inserts can also use your existing chimney, though it may require minor modifications or a flue liner. Additionally, the vent-free propane, natural gas, and electric fireplaces do not require a chimney. There are also fewer limitations on where these new fireplaces can be installed. They can also be installed without problems near wood framing. In order to suit the décor of the room, you can combine brick, stone, marble, lumber, drywall, and other materials can be used to finish the installation. The sides and rear of the fireplace can be safely surrounded by these materials as well.


These pre-built fireplaces are subject to the testing and certification of various organizations such as CSA International, EPA, UL, and the American Gas Association. These certifications guarantee their safety and efficiency.


Here at, we would be proud to put our 30+ years of experience to work for you in making your home more energy efficient and cozy. As always, you are the most important part of our remodeling team.


Gary Harris



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