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Many modern homes were built without fireplaces. If you find yourself looking at your living room and missing the old fashioned fireplace that you had as a child, you can still have all the look and the warmth of a fireplace with your choice of a ventless fireplace insert.
Fireplaces that do not vent into a chimney and that send the smoke outside are called ventless fireplace inserts. These are not really just very ornate imitation fireplaces.
While this type of fireplace insert can be very convincing that they are a real fireplace, complete with mantle and carved wood stained in maple or walnut or whatever the manufacturer offers, they can also be functional fireplaces and provide real warmth.
The logs sold with your best electric fireplace insert unit can use a recommended gas or electric heating element. With some inserts, you have your choice of turning off the heat and turning on the logs to have a flame effect without the heat or the smoke.
They also come with a remote control which makes it very comfortable to use from the comfort of your couch without having to get up and turn the appliance off.
Electric logs are environmentally friendly as no carbon monoxide is emitted. Some electric logs can heat a room 20 X 20 as if they were a space heater.
Prices for these electric log fireplaces can range from $400 to a $1000. These electric log fireplaces are very nice and environmentally friendly, but if you were looking for real flames, you also have that option. Many of these units are visually a very realistic ventless fireplace in their look and function.
Real flame ventless fireplace inserts use gel as fuel and are indoor fireplaces. Most fireplaces are made from wood like pine and coated with a flame retardant substance like steel. Along with the mantle, the firebox, the grate, you get cast concrete logs, decorative lava rocks, and real flame gel fuel.
These are called indoor gel fuel fireplaces and produce real flame by burning the gel or natural gas. The point of concern with these real flame burning ventless fireplaces is the fact that since they are burning fuel, there is some carbon monoxide emission going on and your room may become very unhealthy if the heat is allowed to build up, the room is shut off from the rest of the house or if left unsupervised.
In some states like California and Massachusetts, ventless fireplace inserts that burn real fuel are not allowed for health hazards rather than for environmental hazards.
An electric fireplace insert is one of the easiest ways to install an electric fireplace into a home. It is extremely easy to insert into an existing firebox, and after that, the only other requirement is to plug the electric fireplace insert in.
The best electric fireplace inserts provide a sizeable amount of heat. They put out a btu range from 4,200 – 4,500, which can heat a room up to an area of 400 square feet.
Although electric fireplace inserts do not provide an actual flame, they can provide a simulation of a flame. These flames can range from anything from a light bulb placed on under a translucent plastic mold to an elaborate backdrop that projects realistic flames.
Many electric fireplace inserts have “flames” that can fool the uninformed. Both the flames and the heat can be adjusted by a remote control.
Another advantage of an electric fireplace insert is that it is as easy to remove as it is to install. An electric fireplace insert can function as a space heater as well as a fireplace, and many people use them as such.
Electric fireplace inserts have drawn their share of criticism. People claim that the electric fireplace inserts are inefficient to run, due to the amount of electricity they require. However, their convenience in other areas tends to balance out this criticism.
Using fireplace steamers with your best fireplace insert
One of the main complaints people have regarding fireplaces is that they can dry the air in the room. This leads to such issues as dry eyes or a sore throat.
Various humidifying solutions are used to counteract this drying process.
Some fireplaces that do not operate on solid fuel can cause such problems too, but the solution is much more effective.
Normal air humidity levels can be restored with the help of fireplace steamers, which are cast-iron accessories that release vapors into the air when they reach a certain temperature.
Due to the heating action of the fire, the water inside the fireplace steamer is brought to a vaporous state and blown into the air, reducing dryness. Steamers can actually be used for all kinds of fireplaces, because winter air humidity can drop below healthy levels regardless of the source of heating used.
Getting the best fireplace steamers
We have already seen how fireplace steamers work with your fireplace insert, now we should review their material and styles.
Fireplace steamers are normally made of cast iron, although other materials seem to be gaining popularity. Brass, aluminum and porcelain are often used by manufacturers these days.
Due to constant contact with water vapors, fireplace steamers are prone to rust. To protect them against rust, fireplace steamers usually have some kind of coating. This coating is especially necessary in the case of fireplace steamers made of iron, as the other materials are rust-resistant.
As for shapes and styles, fireplace steamers follow the general trend so common with all fireplace accessories: variety is the keyword.
Fireplace steamers are available in just about any color you could think of. Add to that their innovative designs and you’ll see why fireplace steamers are a must in every home that has a fireplace. Log cabin steamers, lattice steamers and acorn steamers are just a few of the many models of fireplace steamers available.
In addition to the beneficial effects they have on the room air, fireplace steamers can also contribute to people’s comfort by making the room smell nice.
Adding some potpourri or various scents into the water from the fireplace steamer will cause these to be released into the air gradually. This will make you enjoy the fireplace experience even more.