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Fireplaces Without The Fireplace Mess: How Electric And Gas Fireplaces Work

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Who does not love the beauty and warmth of a good fireplace? The problem is, if you have one, it can be quite messy and difficult to keep clean. If you do not have one, they are very messy to install in your home. When you want a fireplace, but do not want the mess, you can utilize a gas or electric fireplace. Here is how these work.

The Portable Models 

You have probably seen the portable electric fireplaces in Christmas catalogs and big box retail stores for years. These fireplaces are stand-alone units that, when plugged into the wall, emit intense heat that radiates throughout the room, just like an electric heater (because that is what they essentially are). The only difference with these portable fireplaces is that they are are made to look like real fireplaces and their heating coils are collected in the area where the fake logs are perched. Some look like traditional fireplaces, with the beautiful old, scroll-work mantles, while others are more of the contemporary kind, flanked by video cabinets, bookcases, and shelving.

The Installed Models

No deconstruction is needed when you install a gas or electric fireplace. These fireplaces are usually installed in a corner so that they radiate heat out toward the center of the room. A wall of stone and mortar is erected over and around them to make it look even more like a real fireplace. However, the electric ones are exactly like their portable counterparts with one simple switch—they turn on and off with a wall switch and are directly wired into your home's electrical system.

Likewise, the gas versions of these fireplaces are also wired directly into your home's gas line. If your home utilizes propane or natural gas, so does your new gas fireplace. The gas fireplaces tend to deliver more realistic fire because there is an ignition switch that lights the gas when you turn on the fireplace. Otherwise, you would just have a lot of gas filling your home and no heat or cheery fireplace glow. Like the in-situ electric fireplaces, no deconstruction is needed to put a flue out of the house, except that an exhaust pipe is generally recommended for gas fireplaces. The surrounding wall space can be made to look like a brick fireplace, stone fireplace, or rough-hewn wood fireplace, depending on the type and style of fireplace and chimney you want in your living room, den, etc.

For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like