Thursday, October 7, 2010

No Kindling Required

Well, it's becoming that time of year, even if I am slow to admit it. Falling temperatures, crisp mornings that require more than a thin layer of cotton knit, and the slight recognition of your breath in the evening air. It is also the time that many people have an urge to cozy up to an open flame. But what if you don't, or can't, have a wood burning fireplace and installing a gas line is just not in the budget? Ethanol burning fireplaces are safe, environment friendly, non-polluting and odorless. And, they come in all sorts of designs from violent slashes in the wall to humorous portrayal of past behavior. Here are just a few of the hundreds of styles available.

This fireplace by Moma Designs is one of the more interesting and unusual fireplaces I have seen in a long time.

The Martian has landed. Cocoon Fires makes this alien-inspired fireplace for both indoors and out.

Burning leaves in a trash can has long been banned in many areas. Now, Maison Fire lets you look like you're taking part in an Midwest tradition - and not getting in trouble!

Ultra modern and imposing, this Maison Fire fireplace also does not need any venting.

There are a  couple of things to keep in mind when selecting which fuel type is best for you. In some counties, like Boulder County in Colorado where I live, extending a gas line to add a fireplace means you must "credit back" your energy consumption by adding solar panels. Solar panels are wonderful and more cost effective than years past, but know to plan this in your budget. Also, natural gas is a fossil fuel and not renewable. Wood is a renewable resource. Contrary to popular belief, you can install a wood fireplace - as long as it has a catalytic converter. Unfortunately, to date there are not a lot of contemporary styled EPA approved wood burning fireplaces. 

If you are in need of the flame, contact me and I'll hook you up - with, or without, a gas line!


  1. I think you may have just solved a design dilemma Larry and I have been having for over a year. He wants a wood burning stove in the playroom basement and I have been arguing there is no room. Doesn't he remember being a kid and wanting an air hockey table? Plus, I am usually the one cleaning up the wood pieces and ashes! I hope I can convince them this is the way to go. Thanks Shaun.

  2. Tina, there are really so many designs available. Let me know if I can help you find a style that would work best for your house.

  3. The Martian fireplace would fit perfectly in the house from Sleeper by Woody Allen.


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