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Fireplace Primer

Fireplaces are often the centerpieces of the rooms they are in. Some are big and dramatic, others are sleek and compact. Regardless of what they look like, most fireplaces exist to serve a purpose: warm up the home. Different indoor fireplace designs do that in different ways.

Real-flame fireplaces come in three different configurations: wood-burning, gas and bio. Bio fireplaces burn ethanol fuel rather than gas or wood. These fireplaces can be wall-mounted, meaning the firebox in built into the wall and surrounded by an exterior mantel. They can also be free-standing and placed anywhere in the room.

Wood-burning fireplaces burn wood, of course, and tend to be popular as they give the user the traditional look, feel and smell many people have come to expect from a fireplace. Owning a wood-burning fireplace means keeping and caring for the wood used in it in addition to having ashes to clean up.

Gas-burning fireplaces are currently the most common type. They burn propane or natural gas to create flame and warmth. They are easy to light and leave no mess to clean up, which is why they are so popular. Gas fireplaces can be ventless, direct vent (with two pipes) or top vent (using a chimney).

An electric fireplace will still generate heat, but no flames. These can be approximated by imitation flames if you wish. These work very well in areas where a real-flame fireplace canít due to lack of gas hookup or a chimney.
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