There is no substitute for a good fireplace. Whether you want a great focal point as a centerpiece for your home décor, or you want an outdoor fireplace so that you can enjoy your outdoor living space during the colder months of the year, a fireplace offers an inviting and warm feeling for friends and family alike.
Whether you are choosing a fireplace for the outdoor living area of your new home with the help of a home builder or an architect, or you are working with an interior designer to find the perfect indoor electric fireplace to match your current interior design aesthetics, this post is here to help you. Of course, you may be left with some additional questions like, “what are the different types of fireplaces, and what fuel type do they use?”. What’s the cost for upkeep of indoor fireplaces vs something for your outdoor patio? When it comes to indoor fireplaces, why do people tend to prefer electric fireplaces over other types? Which fireplace that runs on electricity looks the most realistic anyway?
In the following post, we will do our best to answer all of these important questions for you and much more.
In this post, you will learn:
- What Are The Different Indoor Living Room Fireplace Types? – In this first section, we will talk about all of the different types of fireplaces that you can get for the indoor space of your home. We will cover wood burning, gas burning, and electric fireplaces.
- What Are The Different Outdoor Fireplace Types? – Next up, we will talk about the various types of fireplaces for outdoor use, including all different types of outdoor fire pits, propane gas fireplaces, electric outdoor heating devices, and more.
- What Cost More to Upkeep: An Outdoor Fireplace or Indoor? – In this section, we will talk about the upkeep cost when it comes to outdoor fireplaces versus indoor fireplaces, which should be your focus for your first fireplace, and what type of fuel it should use.
- Why Do People Prefer Electric Fireplaces Over a Wood Burning or Gas Fireplace? – Electric fireplaces have come a long way over the last few decades, many people still don’t realize why they are usually preferred over wood and gas fireplaces. This section will go over the downsides of wood burning and gas burning, and the upsides of electric fireplaces.
- What Brand Has The Best Fire Effects When It Comes To Premium Electric Fireplaces For Indoor Use? – If you are looking for indoor electric fireplaces that look the most like a real one, you need to read this section carefully.
What are the different indoor living room fireplace types?
When it comes to indoor fireplaces, there are ones that burn wood as a fuel source, ones that burn natural gas, ones that burn propane, and ones that run entirely off of electricity. Here are the common wood types of indoor fireplaces:
- Open Hearth Fireplace – These are the most common types. They have an open firebox design for a fire to be built in them. It is common for people to put up a screen in front of them due to the danger of an exposed flame to the interior of their home. It is common for these to be a brick or stone fireplaces with a chimney.
- Enclosed Fireplace – An enclosed fireplace is a type of wood fireplace similar to one with an open hearth design, except that the flames are completely enclosed so they aren’t exposed to your home. This makes it a bit safer and more efficient.
- Fireplace Insert – This is a wood fireplace insert that goes into an open hearth-style fireplace to transform it into an enclosed one.
- Wood Stove – This is a fireplace that is more commonly found in places like log cabins or wilderness lodges. These stoves burn wood, radiate heat from the stove itself, and you can cook on top of them. They tend to look out of place in modern homes.
Although these have some crossover with outdoor types, the indoor types usually will have a gas log to make them look more like a real fireplace. Here are the main gas fireplaces that you will typically find being used indoors:
- Direct Vent – These are fireplaces that use a gas that burns closer to a traditional flame color, but they require ventilation.
- Vent-Free – Vent-free gas fireplaces use a gas that doesn’t have the need for ventilation. A vent-free fireplace has slightly more freedom in the location of where you want to put it in the home.
Regarding indoor use, electric fireplaces have more variety in types and styles than wood or gas fireplaces. Here are all of the different types of indoor electric fireplaces:
- Flat Wall Fireplace Mantel Package – These are fireplace kits that look the most like a traditional fireplace. These are fireplace kits because the mantel comes unattached to the fireplace and you attach it together during installation. This is so companies can offer a wide variety of mantel styles. You can also swap out the mantel if you update your decorating style at a later date.
- Corner Fireplace – This is the same as the mantel package. However, it is built to fit into a room’s corner so that you can save some space or simply put the focus on the corner of a room rather than the flat wall.
- TV Stand Fireplace – These are fireplaces built into white TV stands to combine two pieces into one. However, these can have issues with fireplace performance due to the limited space.
- Corner TV Stand Fireplace – These are just like the TV stand fireplaces, but built for corners. Unfortunately, these suffer the same problems as other TV stand versions.
- Wall Mount Fireplace – These are fireplaces that are mounted up off of the floor using special mounting brackets. They can also be installed within a recessed wall to either be wholly flush or only partially recessed.
- Fireplace Insert – This is one of the types of electric fireplaces that are used to convert existing wood fireplaces into ones that use electricity instead of ones that burn wood.
- Freestanding Fireplace Heater – These are basic portable heaters with some fireplace aesthetics. More often than not, these look tacky and perform poorly at both heating a home and displaying fire effects. These should usually be avoided.
- Electric Fireplace Stove – If you are someone that really prefers that wilderness and rural aesthetic, these are modern electric fireplaces that are supposed to look like wood stoves.
What are the different outdoor fireplace types?
There are many different types of fireplaces for outdoor use. Keep in mind that any fireplace with an exposed flame should be placed on a stone walkway or pavers instead of a wooden deck for safety, especially if it has a roaring fire where embers can easily spark off of it.
Here are the main types of outdoor wood fireplaces:
- Wood Fire Pit – A standard fire pit that burns wood as its fuel. This kind of fire pit can be built into the ground or raised off of the ground in a tabletop style. A fire pit is great for roasting marshmallows for s’mores and also looks great as a backyard centerpiece. These are the most common type of wood-burning outdoor fireplaces.
- Chimenea – This is a beautiful piece that stands on legs and burns wood inside of it. A chimenea can come in many different styles. A chimenea can be cast iron or clay, or the chimenea can even have a beautiful patina on them whether they are cast iron or some other material.
Gas fireplaces come in a variety of types as well. They typically use propane gas or natural gas. A fire pit table is the most common type. This allows for a raised outdoor fireplace design. They can sometimes have the fire bowl filled with fire glass or lava rocks. It isn’t unusual to see an outdoor gas fireplace made out of stainless steel. Here are the gas types of outdoor fireplaces:
- Propane Gas Fire Pit – This is an outdoor fire pit or fire pit table that uses propane as its fuel source.
- Natural Gas Fire Pit – This is a fire pit that uses natural gas.
- Outdoor Fireplace Burner – These are outdoor-style gas fireplaces that may or may not have a gas log placed inside them depending on the flame style.
There are a few outdoor options to mention because these can use different types of fuel:
- BBQ – A BBQ gives off heat while cooking. They can use gas, wood, charcoal or in rarer cases, be electric.
- Pizza Oven – Just like BBQs, an outdoor pizza oven can use a variety of fuels depending on the type that you have. It is also common to build these yourself as a DIY project.
- Lava Rocks Fire Pit – These can be different types of fuel, but the rocks inside of the fire bowl help add drainage while giving off a good aesthetic look to them.
Electric Fireplaces are another option for outdoor use. Typically, you will find a couple of different types:
- Infrared Quartz Patio Heater – These are usually more powerful than their indoor counterparts due to the need for additional heat to make up for the cold outdoor area.
- Portable Radiating Heater – These antiquated radiating devices will cost you a fortune on your heating bill if used for outdoor use.
What cost more to upkeep: An outdoor fireplace or indoor one?
In most cases, an indoor fireplace will cost less to upkeep than an outdoor fireplace. The only exception to this would be in the case of wood fireplaces.
For wood versions, there will usually be higher upkeep costs with indoor fireplaces due to the need for regular chimney cleanings, and upkeep in the room due to smoke damage to the room.
Why do people prefer electric fireplaces over a wood burning or gas fireplaces?
First of all, you need to understand all of the problems that come with wood fireplaces:
- Fire hazard – Wood fireplaces are a significant fire hazard for your home. The exposed flame allow sparks to catch something flammable in your home on fire. Even worse, the soot that accumulates in the chimney is very flammable and needs to be cleaned a few times per year.
- Hazardous emissions – You have to deal with both smoke and carbon monoxide that enters your home from a wood fireplace, no matter how good the chimney ventilation is.
- High Maintenance – Wood fireplaces require constant maintenance; building fires, adding logs when the flame burns down, and having to keep a close eye on them for safety purposes.
- Inefficient – Heat loss is a constant problem since so much heat leaves through the chimney along with the smoke and other harmful emissions.
- Smoky odor – A smoky smell will always be in your home when using wood fireplaces. The odor will linger for several days even after you stop using your wood fireplace.
- Smoke stains – The smoke of a wood fireplace tends to yellow walls, furniture, carpet, and curtains. Soot can also accumulate on the wall above your fireplace as well.
- TV damage – Smoke and rising heat mean it is impossible to mount a TV above a wood fireplace without the internal components being destroyed and ruining your TV.
- Storage – You have to find a good amount of storage space outside of your home for all of that wood you will use.
- Costly – Building a new wood fireplace in your home is going to cost a ton of money. It is a big project that will require professionals, and you may have to move out of your home until construction is complete.
Gas fireplaces are usually safer and a bit more efficient than wood fireplaces. Regardless, they still have issues you have to consider:
- Fire hazard – The flames are exposed to the room which still presents a risk of a house fire if something flammable is nearby.
- Hazardous emissions – Smoke isn’t an issue, but carbon monoxide poisoning is still a real threat when gas has an incomplete burn.
- Unrealistic flame – The color of a gas fireplace never looks quite right, even when they are naturally colored. Certain gases’ neon blue flame color is even more unauthentic, weak and lacks realistic flame flickering.
- Costly Installation – Between venting, gas lines, and the need for professional help, gas fireplaces can cost a great deal.
Electric fireplaces are the clean choice, and here are the reasons why:
- No fire risk – With electric fireplaces, you have the peace of mind that you don’t have to worry about any additional risk of fire since nothing inside of the fireplace is actually burning.
- No emissions – Besides not worrying about house fires, you don’t have to worry about smoke inhalation or carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Odor free – With the absence of smoke from the fireplace, there is also a complete lack of lingering smoky smells or wall staining.
- Easy to use – Electric fireplaces are incredibly simple to use. Unlike wood fireplaces, all you have to do to use them is turn them on and select your preferred temperature.
- Easy installation – The installation is easy and cheap with electric fireplaces. You don’t need professionals at all. You just pick the best spot for your fireplace, set it into place, and plug it into the wall outlet. That’s it.
- Portable – You can put electric fireplaces into any room of your home since the installation requirements are so low. You can also easily move an electric fireplace from one room to another with ease if you change your mind about where you want it to be located.
- Wall mountable – You can mount TVs right above electric fireplaces since there is no smoke or rising heat to damage them. Any heat produced by electric fireplaces is blown towards the center of the room.
- Heat efficient – Since there is no heat loss through the chimney and infrared heating coils are so efficient, you can expect to heat your home quickly and efficiently with the least amount of electricity needed.
- Zone heating – For extremely large homes, you can install a second fireplace in a different part of the home and only use your fireplaces when someone is in that zone. The lowered cost of heating will offset the fireplace cost.
- Remote control – Electric fireplaces usually come with some kind of remote control or smartphone app.
- Flame effect – Electric fireplaces with high-end flame effects can truly capture the ambiance of a real fireplace.
What brand has the best fire effects when it comes to premium electric fireplaces for indoor use?
If you want a deluxe electric fireplace with realistic fire effects, MagikFlame is the only brand you need to look at. Their fireplaces have several features that customers are happy to enjoy:
- Ultrarealistic 3D Projected Flames – Inside MagikFlame fireplaces are realistic 3D flames projected onto physical log sets that look almost indistinguishable from a real fireplace.
- Immersive Sounds of Crackling Logs – To add to the realism, MagikFlame fireplaces have the crackling log sounds that go along with the already impressive flame visuals. In addition, you can also play some relaxing sounds of nature.
- Efficient 5,200 BTU Infrared Heater – The 5,200 BTU heater can keep a home of 1,000 square feet warm with just a single fireplace. This is enough to warm most condos, small to medium houses, and apartments, without the need for an additional fireplace.
- Smartphone App – Instead of a traditional remote, MagikFlame fireplaces are completely controllable through their intuitive smartphone app that lets you control every aspect of your fireplace from any room of your house.
Are you someone that is interested in an indoor fireplace and MagikFlame sounds like the right choice for you? Here are some additional links about the MagikFlame company, our fireplaces, and how to order your MagikFlame fireplace today: