Chestnuts roasting on an open…candle? When you buy a home, chances are pretty good that you are going to have to compromise something, and for us our compromises were the lack of a porch and a fireplace. The good news is that there are fireplace alternatives out there for those of us that are fireplace-challenged. Here are some fireplace alternatives in order from most to least fireplace-like.
If you don’t have a wood fireplace built into your home, an electric fireplace is the next best thing. There are tons of options available to meet the needs of virtually any homeowner. Electric fireplaces also help reduce your total home heating costs. Simply plug a fireplace into an outlet and fire appears like magic. Electronic magic.
A gas fireplace is another viable option. Similar to an electric fireplace, gas fireplaces contain ceramic logs that look like wood, and can “burn” without the need of a chimney or other vent. One downside to these types of fireplaces is that they can contribute to indoor air pollution, so they aren’t recommended for people with asthma or other respiratory problems. If you’re going with gas, the best type of gas fireplace is the type that vents to the outside to help avoid unnecessary pollution.
Another efficient fireplace alternative is a gel fireplace. Gel fireplaces also do not burn wood, instead they burn a grain-alcohol gel which produces heat in the room, but no fumes or smoke. These fireplaces appear as normal fires and even make that sweet crackling noise that I love so much. However, they do not emit much heat.
Wood Burning Stove
If it’s warmth you’re after, the wood burning stove (not fireplace) is where it’s at. Sure, you don’t get the romantic beauty of watching logs burn, but what you lack in visual stimulation you’ll make up for in being the warmest you have ever been in your entire life. It feels like you’re in a bear cave. Or at least that’s what I imagine a bear cave feeling like. A wood burning stove makes you feel like hibernating through all of the cold months. These things heat your house so well that you can probably keep your heat off for the entire winter.
If you’re only concerned with visual stimulation, might I suggest a video of a fireplace? These things are free and look just like the real thing! In fact, here’s a free, HD, hour long video of burning logs in a fireplace. You’re welcome. Don’t say I never gave you anything.
This is how I get that fireplace feeling in my own home. Yup, I light a Woodwick candle. It’s a candle with a wooden wick that kind of sounds like a crackling fireplace. I have a very active imagination, so this does the job for me in a very cheap way.
If you yearn for a burn that only a fireplace can give you, these suggestions should prove useful. Whatever you decide, please use caution when dealing with open flames of any kind. And please note that burning all of your ex’s belongings on your living room floor is not a fireplace alternative. This was omitted intentionally. I’ve heard that’s just not a good idea. Happy alternative fireplace hunting!