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The Firebird Corner

How to Select the RThe Firebirdight Fireplace for Your Home

By Gene Butler, President, The Firebird

Choosing a fireplace can be a daunting adventure given the wide variety of often confusing choices available.  Focusing on just a few key factors will make the process much easier.

Start with heat, since this is what most fireplaces are intended to do. High efficiency heating fireplaces are designed to serve as heating appliances, with robust construction intended for constant use during the heating season, and sophisticated internal technology to produce as much heat from the fuel as possible.  Decorative fireplaces forego the advanced technology to offer an inexpensive choice for occasional use; perfect for a formal room used during holidays and events.

The next important factor to consider is style: traditional, classic, contemporary, or cutting edge.  Consider how the fireplace and its surrounding finish will fit into the design of the room and furnishings.  Select a fireplace model keeping in mind the focal point of the room.  If that point is the wall with the fireplace, a dramatic or larger model will work best.  If the focal point is elsewhere, a window with fabulous mountain views for example, a smaller, simpler fireplace may be called for.  Size matters; whether large or small, a fireplace should visually fit the scale of the room.

Last is the fuel factor: wood, natural gas, or propane.  While it affects the operating cost of the fireplace, fuel is most often a personal and lifestyle decision.  For some, the authenticity and naturalness of a wood fire is worth the effort of dealing with firewood, while the convenience of gas is a good match for busy households.

Fortunately, the selection of today’s fireplaces is so broad that there are models to fit every combination of these factors.  Like they say, “Have it your way.”

Did you buy a high efficiency wood burning stove, fireplace, or insert in 2013? Don’t forget to take advantage of the $300 federal Biomass Tax Credit.  Simply file IRS Form 5965 to save $300 on your 1013 tax return.

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