How can I make my old, unlined or damaged fireplace work again?
An electric fireplace is the easiest solution because no venting is required and it is easy to install (uses a regular household electrical outlet). Both wood burning and gas fireplaces require an appropriately constructed chimney in good repair, so use a qualified chimney inspector to determine if repairs are necessary and/or feasible. However, your best option is a fireplace insert (a heating appliance that typically burns gas, although wood inserts are available), since they are designed to work with a venting system that you purchase with the insert.
What is a fireplace insert?
An insert is a heating appliance, technically a stove (although it cannot be used for cooking), that gets inserted into an existing fireplace or a new structure built to contain it. Inserts are available for all fuel types (gas, electric and wood), although the widest selection is in gas. Gas and wood inserts require appropriate venting via a natural chimney vent or a direct-venting system. Inserts with a glass front are efficient because they are completely enclosed, thus preventing drafts. They work by pulling fresh air into their venting system from outside, and then venting fumes back outside, preventing indoor pollution. Vent-less gas inserts can be even more efficient, provided you have the appropriate requirements for this type of unit.
Can I convert my wood burning fireplace to gas?
The answer is a clear, "yes" if you go with a gas insert and an appropriate venting system (natural vent or direct-vent installed in or through your existing chimney). Installing a gas log set is an option if you have a safe chimney (use a qualified chimney inspector to determine this). Vent-less gas logs could be an option, depending on the size of your room, air considerations, and the integrity of your firebox. Of course, all gas fireplace options require a gas line installation by a qualified professional.
Can I install a fireplace myself?
No, unless you are a trained and qualified fireplace professional. Installations of hearth units, including inserts and stoves, must be done in strict accordance with local and national building codes, as well as according to the manufacturer's installation manual. Otherwise, you risk a fire in your home.
Do I need a chimney for a fireplace?
It depends on the type of fireplace. Neither electric, vent-less gas, nor direct-vent fireplaces require chimneys. So a gas fireplace insert does not need a chimney if it is direct-vented through an adjacent wall. It does if it is naturally vented. Traditional wood burning and natural gas fireplaces both require a chimney in safe condition (use a qualified chimney inspector to determine if repairs are necessary.
How do I decide between a wood, gas or electric fireplace?
Wood offers you the benefits of building, starting and tending a fire yourself. A wood burning fireplace can effectively heat a room and is most efficient with glass doors and an electric blower. Gas and electric fireplaces offer the convenience of instant operation and no need to tend a fire. Gas is more realistic with its live flames, whereas electric simulates a fire with light and sometimes heat. Gas inserts with glass fronts and vent-less gas fireplaces can be very efficient, heating well and consuming little fuel. An electric fireplace is sometimes the only solution in apartments and offices, and an easy, less expensive solution for old, very small or damaged fireplaces.
Why can't I buy a fireplace over the internet?
You can learn a lot of information about Bromwell's fireplaces over the internet, but you cannot order one online. You need to come to the store (117 W. Fourth St., Cincinnati OH) or call for a consultation (513-621-0620) to make a purchase. This policy is for your safety as well as to give us the ability to service your fireplace if necessary in the future (Bromwell's serves the greater Cincinnati area with its fireplaces). Installations of hearth units, including inserts and stoves, must be done in strict accordance with local and national building codes, as well as according to the manufacturer's installation manual. Otherwise, you risk a fire or fume toxicity in your home.
To note, all of our fireplace accessories and home decor are available for purchase online.
Why should I consider a glass door for my fireplace?
Glass doors improve the efficiency of your fireplace by greatly reducing heat loss up your chimney (from your home heater) when there is no fire burning in your fireplace and you don't want to close the damper. To note, glass doors are included in the purchase of gas direct vent and gas insert types of fireplaces.
Can I close my glass doors when there is a fire burning in my fireplace?
You should not have a blazing fire in a wood burning fireplace with the glass doors closed as the glass may break due to high heat. However, some people close the doors when they go to bed at night (since they can't close the flu yet) when there is a very low fire or just burning embers.
What type of screen is best for fireplace saftey?
For woodburning fireplaces, we recommend a free-standing screen that fits snuggly against your fireplace or a mesh, curtained screen. Both of these will prevent sparks from getting out.
Why do some people put screens in front of gas fireplaces that are sealed with glass?
Screens are displayed in front of glass-sealed fireplaces primarily for looks. Many people feel the screen makes a gas fire and the overall hearth look more realistic.