Zionsville fireplace company describes heating options
by Lisa Rusnak
We love using our family room fireplace. It warms the whole house. Ours has a pellet stove insert, which burns wood pellets. You can purchase these at large home improvement stores for about $5 per 40-pound bag. That amount will last about eight hours.
Some fireplaces are more energy-efficient than others. A standard wood-burning fireplace loses most heat through the chimney. But, by installing a wood-burning insert in a fireplace, heat blows into the room instead. Vent-free gas logs for a gas fireplace are efficient because 99 percent of its energy is heat and sent into the room. And electric fireplaces cost pennies per hour to run.
The Cinder Box can install any of these fireplaces in practically any home. A pellet insert costs between $3,000 to $4,000, a new wood-burning fireplace around $4,000, and an electric fireplace from $250 to more than $2,000, depending on the size and style.
We can also repair and update fireplaces and chimneys. This may include relining with a stainless steel liner, rebuilding the masonry, and installing gas logs, or installing electric units. The stainless steel liner contains the combustible products when the old chimney and clay liner can't. If the external bricks are in bad shape, we often can rebuild the clay liner and the deteriorated bricks. If the customer doesn't want to burn wood, we can install vent-free gas logs in the firebox. The easiest and cheapest alternative is installing an electric unit. They put out enough heat for a smaller room such as a bedroom or office.
We've had our share of funny stories. Once, we had squirrels jump into the fireplace when cleaning the damper. After chasing them all over, we just opened the front door, and they scampered out. Lesson: Get a chimney cap. Otherwise, a critter may crawl into your house or die in your chimney.
Watch for the gas fireplace to grow in popularity. One of the newest designs is the Cyclone™, which starts at about $3,800. Its flame, contained in a glass cylinder, spins upward to create a tower of fire that can heat a small room or entryway.
Rusnak is co-owner of highly rated The Cinder Box in Zionsville. Ratings are subject to change, so always check Angie's List before hiring.