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Fireplaces, Mantels, Fire Tools Buying Guide

by Marie Kay
March 2009

These days, there are several types of indoor fireplaces, fireplace tools, and accessories available. Below is a brief overview to get you started in choosing which products are right for you.

*Indoor gas direct vent fireplace - This fireplace is essentially a decorative heater. It features a sealed glass front, ceramic logs, and an optional blower. Most direct vent fireplaces have an efficiency rating of approximately 80%.

*Indoor vent-free fireplace - This fireplace does not require a chimney, making it a convenient and economical choice. All the heat generated by the unit stays inside the home, resulting in optimum efficiency.

*Indoor electric fireplace - An inexpensive alternative to gas or wood, the electric fireplace is quickly gaining popularity. Most models include a heater that puts out up to 10,000 BTU's. To operate this type of fireplace, simply plug it in!

*Fireplace screens - Available in countless varieties, fireplace screens offer beauty as well as protection. Screens provide a barrier between a hot fireplace and a small child.

*Fireplace tools - Fireplace tools can be purchased individually or as a set. The most common fireplace tools include a poker, shovel, broom, and tongs. Fireplace tools can be functional, or simply add charm to your fireplace hearth.

*Fireplace Mantels - Fireplace mantels can greatly improve the appearance of your fireplace. Mantels are usually constructed of wood or stone. Some fireplace packages include the mantel, but often it needs to be purchased separately or custom-made.

Choose the right indoor fireplace, tools and accessories to ensure warm, cozy winters for years to come!