Hearth products come in many shapes and sizes within the categories of fireplaces, stoves and inserts. Before choosing what’s right for your home, take some time to consider the various fuels that are available.
Often the crackling sound of wood burning comes to mind when thinking about the ultimate hearth experience. That’s because it’s been a mainstay for hundreds of years. But other fuels have distinct benefits and are also worth consideration when choosing a fireplace, stove or fireplace insert.
Two of the most important factors to consider when making a decision about fuel are availability and the amount of interaction you want to have with your fireplace, stove or insert.
Think about where you live. If your home isn’t connected to natural gas or propane, a gas fireplace isn’t in the cards. If wood is abundant in your area, a, EPA-certified wood-burning fireplace, stove or insert is an option. Wood pellets, which are available in many areas, burn clean and are also an eco-friendly choice. Electricity is also an option if you are looking for an inexpensive alternative.
How much time do you want to spend with your fireplace or stove? Wood, pellet and coal hearth products require the most interaction and maintenance. On the other hand, gas and electric models require little to no interaction, unless you consider operating a remote a chore.
This chart details the various fuels and their qualities.