Fireplace U

Purchasing A Fireplace

Hi, I'm Dan from, and welcome to Fireplace U. We hope you'll take your time too look around and learn about how to select and install a new fireplace. There is a lot of ground to cover, and it may seem overwhelming at first. Fireplace installation is a very complicated process, and you may need to watch these videos a few times to get a handle on it. If you still have questions, feel free to email to schedule a phone consultation with us.

A good starting point is deciding how you want your fireplace to be powered. Once you arrive at a decision about the energy source, you can start selecting your options and making plans for installation.

One important thing to keep in mind is that your fireplace is a heating unit. It is not just the visual centerpiece of your living room.

Gas fireplaces are the modern gold standard for fireplaces. They turn on and off with the flick of a switch, and the temperature can be adjusted easily and accurately. Some models even have remote control or wall switch options. They deliver all of the good things you would want from a wood fireplace, but with a more convenient and user-friendly fuel source. If you already have an old wood burning fireplace in your home, you may find that the easiest way to upgrade it is to convert it into a gas unit. Gas fireplaces allow for more customization options, and they are easier and cheaper to maintain than wood fireplaces are. You can design your fireplace to look exactly like a wood burning fireplace, or you can opt for a more modern look with colorful fire glass or minimalist stones.

Gas fireplaces run off of natural gas or propane gas lines, and you need to make sure you purchase the correct unit for your gas system. These fireplaces can be installed to be either vented to the outdoors or vent-free, and again, you need to select the vented or vent-free option that corresponds to the type of gas that will be powering your fireplace. I will be discussing vent options in more detail in a future video installment.

Wood burning fireplaces probably came to mind first when you decided to install a fireplace. If you decide on a wood burning fireplace, you will be committing to regular chimney maintenance.

Electric fireplaces are the easiest to install. They look the least like traditional wood-burning fireplaces, and in turn, they take up very little room in your living space. Electric fireplaces are essentially high-quality space heaters. Some of them look a little like television sets that you can hang on your wall, and others mimic the appearance of a full fireplace or wood stove. Like gas fireplaces, the heat and flame levels are easy to turn on and adjust.There may be some kind of flame effect, but it will not look exactly like a real wood fire. Electric fireplaces are good for people who are renting or who move frequently. These units are also usually the best option for offices, commercial spaces, or for newly-built homes with modern decor styles.

Gel fuel fireplaces work like sterno food heaters. They produce flames when you light the gel while it is still in a can. These flames are small and three-dimensional, and they are largely decorative. These types of fireplaces are often contained in artistic glass casings, though conventional fireplace setups with gel fuel are also available. Small gel fuel units make great tabletop centerpieces.

Most of our gas and wood fireplaces cost between $1,000 and $3,000, though some luxury models cost more. The gas ones end up being a bit more expensive than wood ones, since they increase your energy costs by, on average, $1 for every hour they are used. When making your decision, consider whether you are willing to pay a bit more for the convenience of an easily adjustable gas unit.

Electric fireplaces usually cost about $500 or $600, but will be more or less depending on the size and style. Utility costs typically average less than $2 to run an electric fireplace for eight hours, but your power usage may vary depending on the size of the unit and your preferred heat setting.

Small tabletop gel fuel fires generally cost less than $100. Full fireplaces start at $400. You can purchase gel fuel cans in bulk from us for less that $3 per can. Each can lasts for two hours.

We hope this helped you narrow down the type of fireplace that will work best for your home, needs, and budget.

Visit to browse all of our purchasing and installation topics, and check back soon for the next video in this series.

Stay warm!

Natural Gas and Propane Fireplace's

Hi, I'm Dan from Last time, we went over everything you need to know before buying or installing anything. Now we're finally ready to discuss all of the types of fireplaces in more detail.

If you've decided on a gas fireplace, wether it be a natural gas fireplace or propane fireplace, there are a few things that you need to be aware of. According to a new law, all vented gas fireplaces must have protective barrier screens to prevent children from touching the hot glass doors. Superior brand fireplaces come with the screens included, but other brands such as Empire do not. If you are unsure of whether your fireplace has all of the necessary parts, call or email us and we'll make sure you have everything you need.

There are three types of burners to choose from. Millivolt burners have standing pilots that remain on at all times. This makes it incredibly easy to turn on your fire because it requires no external power, though this type of burner consumes slightly more energy than other types. Intermittent pilot, or IP, systems have pilot flames that are turned on electronically and are then ignited. Both of these burner types have remote control capability. There are two types of remote configurations: on/off switches or adjustable thermostatic controls.

The last type of burner is a manual burner. To start a manual burner, you have to physically ignite the pilot yourself. Manual burners are not remote-compatible, so do not choose this type of fireplace if you are interested in eventually adding a remote system.

 as fireplaces can be either vented or vent-free. There is a bit of controversy regarding the safety of vent-free fireplaces, which do not deposit carbon monoxide outdoors. Instead, it is consumed by the fire. We assure you that vent-free fireplaces are perfectly safe and will not deplete your home's oxygen levels. Vent-free fireplaces have the added benefit of not allowing any heat to escape outdoors, saving you some money on your energy bill. Installation costs are a bit cheaper as well. Even though vent-free units are strictly regulated for optimal safety, they are prohibited in California and Massachusetts. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development does not allow ventless fireplaces in their housing, and individual cities have their own rules when it comes to installations. Find out if the fireplace you want is approved in your region before making any purchases.

The last thing you need to consider is which type of gas your home already uses. Most fireplaces use either natural or propane gas. If you choose the wrong type of fireplace, it won't work, so make sure you choose the right one.

To learn more about gas fireplaces and to find out if they are right for you, visit or email tech@shopchimneycom to see all of the models and styles available. Visit this space again soon for new videos and product information.

Stay warm!

Wood Stoves and Pellet Stoves

Hi, this is Dan from ShopChimney, bringing you some more Fireplace U. Today you're going to learn about wood burning and pellet stoves. A stove is an eco-friendly and budget-conscious way to heat your home. Stoves provide more heat than fireplaces and are 50% more more energy efficient than fireplaces. They consume 1/3 less fire wood and draw more carbon monoxide out of the home. Stoves also allow for more versatile placement and installation options.

Here are a few key points to keep in mind when shopping for a stove. We recommend placing your stove on the ground floor of your home, in the room where your family spends the most time. You can use an existing fireplace chimney or have a new stove chimney installed. You will need to adhere to the clearance requirements of the stove. Otherwise, the fire may damage your floor and walls. Use a stove board as extra insurance against damage.

Pellet stoves provide even more placement flexibility than wood stoves do, since they do not need chimneys and are instead vented through a hole in the wall. Pellets are biofuels comprised of pre-made pieces of sawdust and wood chips that are fed into the stove by an electric motor. Some stoves can be adjusted to burn other biomasses like corn and soy beans. These stoves emit almost no smoke, and the pellets are a more efficient form of fuel than normal wood. Pellet stoves are incredibly safe as well, since the fire is contained deep inside the unit. Maintenance is easy and generally involves checking the motor and clearing out debris. We recommend using a stove thermometer to keep the fire at safe levels and a stove fan to distribute the heat evenly around your home. Another tip is to choose a stove that is one sizer bigger than the requirements for your space. Running a small stove on high heat causes more wear and tear than using a bigger stove at lower heat levels.

If you need more help deciding which type of stove is for you, call us or email us at Watch this space for more Fireplace U videos and, as always, stay warm!

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