While people agree that a fire on the hearth makes their house a home, choosing from the many options can be confusing. The following questions are intended to help you identify the right unit for your home or outdoor living room. Remember that the starting point is you, your home, your tastes and your lifestyle.
From there, a trained hearth products retailer can help you choose the best heating fuel and the ideal product.
- Where will your hearth product go?
With today's venting options, fireplaces, stoves, inserts and other hearth appliances can be installed almost anywhere in the home. Consider a fireplace for nontraditional locations, such as the kitchen, home office or master bedroom or bath. Even creating an outdoor living room by installing fireplaces on patios and decks is a very popular trend today.
- Do you have an existing fireplace or stove?
If you have a unit that is inefficient or seldom used, converting to a new hearth product may be simple and surprisingly affordable. Gas logs or a fireplace insert may be just right for you.
- Are you building a new home or remodeling?
You can add atmosphere and focus to your home by incorporating a hearth product early in the design stage. Talk to your architect or remodeler about stove and fireplace ideas.
- Do you want a fire for its aesthetic appearance or for its warmth? Some hearth products are simply decorative, while others are extremely efficient and beautiful to watch at the same time. How much heat output would you like? Consult HPBA's home heating buyers guide for more information.
- How much of your home do you want to heat?
Once you decide whether to use your hearth as room, living zone, or entire house heat source your local hearth dealer can help you determine the right size appliance for your home. Your retailers can also help you decide the best heating fuel factoring in your climate, floor plan and lifestyle.
- What fuels are accessible to you?
Use the HPBA home heating calculator to determine your best options and savings based on your local fuel availability: firewood, natural gas, propane, wood pellets, coal, oil or electricity.
- Are you concerned about having heat during power outages?
One of the benefits of most hearth products is that they can operate during power outages, when you need the heat the most.
- Are there any other special considerations?
Having a fire can be as simple as pushing a button on a gas stove or fireplace, or engaging as supplying your own wood, building and tending a fire. If someone in the house has allergies, that needs to be considered.
- What finished look do you want for your home?
The hearth products industry offers many choices to consumers.
- How much do you want to spend?
Price is always a consideration. Hearth product prices range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Fuel prices also are a factor to consider and vary by region.