Fireplace Upgrade Vs Replacement
Despite their shortcomings, many homeowners are committed to using their fireplaces. Whether it’s their primary heating source or a supplement to their furnace, fireplaces are a must-have for many people.
However, like anything else, fireplaces wear down. If your fireplace has seen better days, you’re probably facing the crucial question of whether to repair or replace it. This blog post will help you decide which direction to go.
Understanding Your Current Fireplace
What kind of fireplace you have will be crucial in helping you decide to repair or replace it. Do you have a traditional wood-burning fireplace, a gas fireplace, or an electric one?
Upgrading Your Wood-Burning Fireplace
You can’t beat the authenticity of a traditional wood-burning fireplace. No other heating system can match the smell, sound, or atmosphere you get from a wood-burning fireplace. But if your system needs some TLC, here are a few things you can do.
Maybe your fireplace is in decent shape, but you’re frustrated by the heat loss. Installing efficiency inserts can mitigate this and possibly lower your energy bills. Inserts fit into your existing fireplace and are a cost-effective way to help retain heat.
Consider upgrades like new fireplace doors or a better chimney liner to make it safer.
Sometimes, a simple cosmetic upgrade is all you need. Many homeowners add new tiles or a mantle to breathe new life into the fireplace and give the room a makeover.
Upgrading a Gas Fireplace
Unfortunately, gas fireplaces aren’t as upgradeable as other heating systems, and most experts recommend replacing them, especially if they’re over 15 years old. However, there are cosmetic upgrades you can do, like painting brass and adding new media/rocks or logs.
Replacing an old gas fireplace gives you more advanced features like smart home integration and energy efficiency.
Upgrading an Electric Fireplace
There are numerous ways to upgrade an electric fireplace. For example, you can add a more realistic flame or swap the fireplace for a new model with ‘smart’ features like phone controls.
When to Consider Replacement
In most cases, you’re better off replacing your fireplace. Whether it’s damage or age, replacement can be more cost-effective, especially if you need more than a cosmetic upgrade. Here’s what to consider.
If your current fireplace has structural issues, like cracks, a damaged flue liner, or crumbling bricks, replacement is the best option for safety.
Changing Fuel Types
As mentioned, nothing beats a wood-burning fireplace when it comes to aesthetics, but practically everything beats them when it comes to energy efficiency. There’s only so much you can do with a wood-burning fireplace to make it more efficient, so if you’re at the end of your rope and want to save more on energy bills, consider switching to gas or electric.
In most cases, changing fuel type requires a total replacement.
Major Renovations If you’re considering a major home renovation in the near future, it might be the perfect time to replace your fireplace to increase efficiency and better match your home’s interior.
Consult a Professional
Consulting a professional is the best way to guide you between upgrading or replacing a fireplace. Pros will offer valuable insights and ideas you might not have considered. They can also advise you on the best options for your budget and heating needs so you don’t get an undersized or too expensive system.
Call Northeastern Chimney LLC
Northeastern Chimney LLC is the premier chimney sweep in Connecticut. Our technicians are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and active in the National Chimney Sweep Guild.
Whether you need a fireplace upgrade, replacement, chimney cleaning, repairs, rebuilds, or anything else, you can count on us! Book your appointment today at 860-233-5770.