The best indoor fireplace to suit your home

Indoor fireplace

Jessica Taylor Yates

Posted April 21, 2022

Nothing says ‘winter’ like the smell of an open log fire on a cold evening with a glass of red and a book. Here's what to know to bring that magic into your home.

As the last autumn leaves fall and the cool of winter sets in, so too do our comfy winter habits.

Hearty meals, a mulled wine, and a cosy blanket are just some of the seasonal trends we can look forward to. The only way this could get any better?

By getting toasty in front of an indoor open fire.

Though you may think it’s impossible to have an open fireplace in your home, and while that may be true, there are some equally as satisfying alternatives. 

The difference between indoor fireplaces

As the cooler months inspire us to hibernate, many seek comfort with a book by the crackle of a roaring fire.

Aside from the romantic notion of the fireplace, they are an excellent and cost-effective alternative to evaporative, gas, or ducted heating. So, which fireplace should you get?  

Wood burning fireplaces

The oldest and most ‘natural’ form of the indoor fireplace, a wood-burning fireplace is exactly what it sounds like. Fuelled by logs of firewood, these have a ‘fixed’ position and appeal to those who enjoy the visual appeal of a ‘real’ fireplace, the fire and crackle, or maybe just love splitting wood on their day off. These work best in a home with a working fireplace, or the ability to build one with a vent or chimney. 

Types of wood-burning indoor fireplaces:

Open-hearth fireplaces: usually made of brick and stone with smoke exiting via a chimney

Free-standing wood-burning stoves: this is not a 'stove' in the conventional use of the word, but rather, is a free-standing warmth option without the need for a fireplace. The heat can then radiate from all sides, which can either be vented through an existing fireplace or a newly built air vent. 

Fireplace inserts: enclosed inserts that can fit in a fireplace you already have, making a traditional open-hearth fireplace more fuel-efficient, which are vented out of the chimney or air vent installed in the home. 

Enclosed fireplaces: has a glass front that protects from sitting directly in front of the flame

Gas-burning fireplaces

If your wood-chopping skills are lacking or you’re looking for an indoor fireplace without as much construction or cost, a gas-burning fireplace might be for you. These can come ventless or as direct-vented built-in fireplaces.

Ventless fireplaces are for those without a chimney or ‘vent’, while a direct-vented fireplace uses your current or a newly-built chimney to vent smoke out for more of a ‘wood burning’ feel at the flick of a switch.

indoor fireplace

There's nothing like getting toasty by an open fire. Image: Getty

Electric fireplaces

If you want a fireplace but don’t want the hassle of a real fire in your home, something more cost-effective, and easier to have installed, consider going electric.

These can come with a remote to control temperature and mimic the ‘look’ of an indoor fireplace without the need for a vent or chimney. They also tend to be more sustainable, as they don’t emit fumes and can be adjusted for lower energy use.

Ethanol fireplaces

Like electric, ethanol fireplaces don’t require a vent or chimney and are a ‘cleaner’ alternative to wood-burning fires.

Also referred to as an ‘alcohol fireplace,’ they use ethanol for fuel to generate heat and can be positioned outside of the usual ‘chimney or inbuilt fireplace structure – freestanding, hanging, even built into a coffee table.  

Remember to keep your indoor fireplace safe

While cosying up in front of the fire shouldbe relaxing, ensure you maintain your indoor fireplace regularly. Whether it is an annual chimney sweep by a certified professional, a clean and inspection of your electric fireplace to ensure it is dust and debris free, or having your gas fireplace serviced by a licensed Type A gasfitter plumber, regular upkeep will ensure your fire provides warmth, light, and a safe space for the family. 

Setting up with a firescreen will also ensure your kids and pets stay out of reach, while a weekly clean will also assist in fireplace safety maintenance. 

Whatever you choose, just make sure you keep your fireplace safe and regularly maintain it for all to enjoy.


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