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Upgrade your home with a new fireplace

Here in the Pacific Northwest, heat is an essential part of life, with these cold fall and winter months requiring the near-constant presence of a heating source to stave off the chill.

Unsurprisingly, we’ve come up with many ways over the years to heat Whatcom County homes: radiant flooring, forced air, cast-iron radiators, heat pumps, electric baseboard heating and more.

However, we haven’t even mentioned one of the oldest — and most romantic — forms of in-home heat: fireplaces. These traditional forms of heating are making a comeback, and thanks to modern technology there are many options available nowadays.

Conventional built-in fireplaces are common in older homes in Whatcom County. However, they can be inefficient at turning fuel into heat, with much of the warmth going straight up the chimney.

Thankfully, fireplace inserts can be installed that use gas, electricity or wood to create efficient heat, right in your existing fireplace opening. Like other fireplace options, inserts include blower fans that help move the heat through the home, and they are designed with a closed combustion system that converts up to 80% of the fuel to usable heat (compared to 20% or less with traditional fireplaces).

No existing fireplace? No problem. Many other options exist, including some fireplaces that don’t even need direct venting to the outdoors.

Modern multi-sided fireplaces can be built into a peninsula or pony wall. These fireplaces made a great addition to a master bedroom or bathroom or an open-plan living area because they can be seen (and enjoyed) from several angles or even rooms.

Photo from Unsplash.

Freestanding corner stoves come in a variety of styles, from rustic to modern, and can use various fuels, including wood pellets, natural gas, propane and traditional wood. These fireplaces offer a traditional look and feel without requiring a robust brick or stone chimney. As such, they can be added to most areas of a house, including kitchens and dens.

With modern venting options, gas fireplaces also can be added to blank living room or master bedroom walls or even to corner niches in living spaces, turning sterile or boring spaces into comforting and inviting retreats filled with the warmth and sounds of a crackling fire.

Believe it or not, electricity also makes for good fireplaces. These options are essentially built-in electric heaters that copy the look and feel (and even sound) of traditional fireplaces. Electric fireplaces use LED technology to mimic the look of real flames, and they’re getting incredibly realistic results, which explains their booming popularity.

For help deciding among any of these options, please give Hudson Remodeling a call. Our home remodeling crews have extensive experience installing various types of fireplaces throughout Whatcom County.