Faux Fireplaces

Faux is not bad…

Many households don't have fireplaces – that's an unfortunate fact for anyone who is a romantic or who simply appreciates the beauty of a hearth with dancing flames on a cool fall or winter day. But there options even for apartment dwellers and others with limited space or no existing fireplace enclosure or ventilation system (such as a flue or chimney). These include direct vent fireplaces, which can use a very small ventilation tube to move exhaust gases outside, or even ventless natural gas fireplaces, which are so efficient that the combustion exhaust can be safely released inside the room without harming its inhabitants.

Many locations do not have readily accessible gas fixtures, or may not have gas service at all. In such a location, other choices are available including portable denatured ethanol fireplaces, gel fireplaces, or electric fireplaces . But some people only need the ambiance of a fireplace, without the heat itself. Whether they live in a temperate climate with no need for supplementary heating or they already have a fully functional and economical heating system, a full fireplace capable of heating the home is outside of their budget range for the project. In such cases, a faux fireplace tends to be a very good option.

Faux probably looks like a familiar word to most of you – in fact, it's simply French for "false". Faux, or false fireplaces allow the ambience of a fireplace without the need for major renovations, the installation of a chimney, ongoing fuel bills, or any of the other challenges that are typically involved when purchasing and installing a fireplace. Some of these fixtures are home made, but in most cases they come as a kit, including a faux mantle and fireplace surround, a small fireplace enclosure which fits into the wall, and a platform allowing candles to be placed inside of the fireplace. Faux fireplaces can be purchased for as little as $100, but in most cases will fall into the $600 - $1,000 range once fully installed.

So if your only real concern is the aesthetic appeal of having a fireplace and the heat provided by one is specifically undesirable, a faux fireplace might be for you. If only the cost gets in the way, consider a low-end natural gas or propane fireplace as a supplementary heat source.

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