Quick Guide to Different Types of Fireplaces Available

Fireplace – one of the most comforting places in a home. Isn’t it. But do you know how many types of fireplaces out there are and what type you are using? It’s the essential information that you require while shopping for fireplace, related products, or when planning a service. Let’s understand fireplaces types and know how to find the best fit for your place.

The major categorization of fireplaces is done based on fuel like gas and solid fuel. Pellets, wood, coal, and Dura flame logs all are types of solid fuels. Gas fireplaces, on the other hand, run on natural gas or propane. Read through 8 types of fireplaces explained below to understand and find the best one for your home.

  1. Masonry Fireplaces

These types of fireplaces are entirely composed of stones and bricks and are made on site. You can easily identify a masonry fireplace as the construction begins with bricks on the floor and towers straight to the chimney top. And, the second method to figure out this type is to look ahead of the damper. The fireplace is a masonry one if you can see a masonry construction rather than a metal pipe. This fireplace is considered operational and safe for vented gas logs, burning wood, inserts, or vent-free gas logs.

  1. Air-cooled, Zero Clearance or Prefab Fireplace

This one covers multiple types, as mentioned in the name, while the only variation would be the country or manufacturer. It’s simpler to find a prefab fireplace, as these remarkably use a metal pipe for chimney or flue. Did you ever had a look at the chimney past the damper, you will notice a round metal pipe of a diameter of 8 to 12 inches. In most of the cases, you can also find the pipe in your attic roof and recognize it by a glance at the firebox. The floor panel and walls within are known as refractory panels, and you can easily distinguish them from brick through a closer look. You can use a gas lob lighter to begin the wood fire, and it can be used to burn various fuel types like gas, insert, or wood.

  1. Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces

Currently, these fireplaces are the most famous of various gas fireplace forms available. Highly efficient, these fireplaces are generally used as heaters with a remote or wall switch for operation control. And, the appliances have closed, sealed, and solid glass panel at the front. With this, room air does not get involved in the exhaust. The combustion process makes the fireplace as well as the home more efficient. Direct vent gas fireplaces use a co-axial or double-wall chimney and come with a pilot light. The light can be a standard model that can have a manual one. Glass panel is the simplest way to identify this fireplace, and it can neither be changed nor altered. Besides, the interior, glass panels, burner, and logs also cannot be altered.

  1. B-vent or Natural Vent Gas Fireplaces

These fireplaces have a one-wall chimney type and use room air for combustion that’s exhaled through the chimney. These come with a glass panel or glass door kit on the front. The doors are generally operable with a gap at the bottom, top, or both if the glass panel is fixed. The flame and log in the units are usually small because these fireplaces are used for decorative purposes, not for heat. Like the direct vent type, this one also has a pilot light that may be set to turn on automatically or a standard one with manual operation. The burner, glass panels, and logs cannot be altered or changed in most of the cases.

  1. Ventless or Vent-free Gas Fireplaces

This covers two types of fireplaces with a significant difference. The ventless fireplaces are used for outdoor places, while vent-free ones are for indoor purposes only. Understanding this point is essential before going out to buy these units.

These fireplaces do not have a chimney or flue, so they are simple to identify and could be made of masonry or metal.Ventless/vent-free ones are famous in rural areas because power outages are long-lasting and frequent there. The flame of vent-free fireplaces looks more static, while the modern versions use fire glass or stone to avoid imitating a log-based wood fire. And, these are not made for mobile, manufactured homes, and airtight homes. And, if you have breathing problems, avoid using a vent-free appliance.

  1. Electric Fireplaces

Electric fireplaces are one of the easiest ones on the list. These don’t produce actual fire but simulate one with the use of lighting technique. And, most importantly, these types of fireplaces can be used everywhere as they don’t need a chimney. Since blowers send out 99% of the heat, they are the most efficient type on the list.

  1. Alcohol or Gel-fueled Fireplaces

Alcohol or gel-fueled ones also fall under the category of simple fireplaces. These types of fireplaces use alcohol or petroleum-based gel that’s poured into a cartridge or pan to light up the fire. Also, these don’t contain a chimney but should need a clear path for the combustibles. Though these fireplaces don’t always use logs, the fire burns around things like media, design, or decorative bowl. And, it runs for a minimum of 1 to 4 hours on a one fuel load. Do note that these types of fireplaces are expensive to burn on a regular or consistent basis.

  1. Inserts and Stove (gas, pellet, wood, and electric)

You can place a stove in a room or place it within an alcove. This free-standing appliance can be used for heating a range of area sizes, from small to large spaces. They are made to burn just one fuel type that can be gas, pellet, electric, or wood and contain a chimney except for vent-free or electric ones. Next one, inserts are the same as stoves that are designed to fit inside the existing fireplaces. Except for electric and vent-free variants, these fireplaces are installed alongside the existing flue using a liner.

Thus, with an understanding of various fireplaces available, you can easily identify the one at your place. And, even if you don’t have one, buying a new fireplace from the fireplace shop becomes a more comfortable job now.