5 Things You Need to Know Before Installing a Gas Fireplace

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Few things are cozier than the warm glowing embers of a crackling fireplace. Whether you want to install a new gas fireplace or to replace your traditional woodburning firepit with a contemporary linear fireplace, this is a big decision. Installation of a gas fireplace will require careful consideration of ventilation requirements, operational efficiency, and aesthetics.

If you are in the market for a gas fireplace, here is what you need to know before installing one.

  1. Location

Consider where you will install the fireplace, as this will determine the most suitable style for your home. If you have an existing masonry fireplace, look at insert fireplaces, as these allow you to simply fit the new fireplace into the existing space.

Fireplace Styles to Match Your Bedroom Décor

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A fireplace in the bedroom hearkens back to the times when that was homeowners’ main source of heat. Though most bedrooms feature more modern technology, a fireplace still creates a cozy atmosphere no matter the room’s overall style. If you’re considering a remodel or new build that includes a bedroom fireplace, below are ideas for matching it to your room’s style.

Contemporary Style

Contemporary style is one of the most popular — it essentially encompasses most design trends happening now. With contemporary style, though, you often get a sense of playing with geometry and a leaning toward minimalism. A linear fireplace is ideal for this style of bedroom.

Make a Fire Pit the Center of a Contemporary Patio

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The patio is the heart of your outdoor living. A common feature of the patio is a fire pit. When designing a patio, you usually want to adhere to a specific design style to create an overall cohesive effect. These principles should also apply to the fire pit and its surroundings. Below are some ideas of how to design a contemporary fire pit area for your patio.

Contemporary Design Basics

Contemporary design by nature is eclectic, encompassing the changing trends of what’s being created in the moment. That said, contemporary design does feature certain principles that make the style identifiable.

Ways You Can Upgrade Your Fireplace

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Whether you actively use your fireplace during the colder seasons or you simply keep the appliance because you enjoy its aesthetics in your home, you may be ready to upgrade this important home feature. Here are ways you can upgrade your fireplace so the unit is both functional and attractive.

Remove Soot Stains

Soot stains build up around and behind your fireplace and chimney over time, giving your heating unit a dated, neglected appearance. Hire a chimney specialist to remove the soot stains from on and around your fireplace mantel and chimney to give your wood burner a beautiful — yet easy — upgrade.

4 Tips to Create a Musician-Friendly Fire Pit Setting

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The best music in the world—according to many who play—is the random music heard around a fire in someone’s backyard. Nothing compares to the real life experience of a crackling outdoor fire and spontaneous live entertainment. The allure of the pairing is so strong, some big music festivals now add “campfire sessions” with the pro musicians to their lineups.

Informal settings encourage the entire group to sing along, keep the beat on a hand drum, or dance to the rhythm of the tunes. Outdoor sing-alongs are both ice-breaking and stress-relieving for all ages.

If you play a portable instrument, having a backyard musical setting is a must. If you don’t play, support the musicians you know (and the ones you want to meet) by creating an outdoor fireside “venue.” The following tips show you how.

4 Ways to Cook Fruits and Vegetables on Your Fire Pit

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cookingwithfirepitIf you have a fire pit or a fireplace out back, you may be looking forward to hot dogs and smores this summer. However, meat and sweets aren’t the only options for outdoor cooking—you can use your fire pit or outdoor fireplace to cook fruits and vegetables too.

If you need a break from the marshmallows, look for something new. For nutritious side dishes, or even main dishes if you want to go vegetarian, try these options this summer.

The Green Home: Environmentally Friendly Tips for Your Fireplace

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If you’re joining the shift toward a green lifestyle, your home is the first place you start. You may start using cloth grocery sacks, install a few solar panels, and start your own garden. Many green-minded homeowners might wonder if it’s energy efficient and environmentally friendly to use a gas, pellet, or wood fireplace.

The truth is that utilizing a fireplace in your home can go either way. Here are some tips to keep your merry, warm hearth without significantly increasing your impact on your local environment.

Opt for Closed Fires

Open fires are often not permitted in modern building codes, but for historic homes that have the kitchen hearth still present and stained from over a century of fires, it can be hard to say goodbye. However, it’s best for your house and the planet if you convert your open fire to a more efficient closed one that uses pellets, firewood, or gas.

The open fire draws cool air into the home to feed the flames. You might feel warmer while in the room with the blaze, but other rooms in the house will become colder. If you have a forced air or boiler heating system in addition to the fireplace, the lowered temperature in other rooms will actually cause you to burn more fuel.

An open fire is therefore a lose-lose for green living. You’ll burn more fossil fuel or electricity heating other areas of your house and also burning wood in an inefficient way. The best solution is to install a closed fire that has high efficiency ratings.

So, should you choose gas, pellets, or traditional firewood?

Choose the Right Fuel for Your Area

Whether or not a fuel is right for you completely depends on your local economy and pollution.


Burning wood in an efficient wood stove provides plenty of heat for a home, but produces smoke. In a rural area with low pollution levels, the minimal smoke from single wood stove will not make much of an impact. It’s also an “electricity-free” option, which is great in emergencies and power-shortages.

Wood fuel is generally acknowledged to be carbon neutral; it doesn’t help the environment, but it doesn’t hurt it either. If you live an area that has few wood-stoves and plenty of moving, fresh air, choose a wood stove with the following guidelines in mind:

  • It’s better to source your wood locally. If you buy wood from local providers, it stimulates your local economy.
  • It’s always better to burn properly cured and dried wood. Green wood smokes and burns dirtier than dry wood.
  • Use your wood stove in place of electric of gas heating whenever possible. This helps keep your choice to burn wood more carbon neutral.
  • Use the ashes to enrich the soil in your garden. Ashes give back to the earth by off-setting soil acidity and increasing available potassium.
  • Replace an old, non-EPA approved wood stove with a more efficient model. You’ll burn less wood, get more heat, and reduce emissions.

Even though wood stoves produce a little smoke, they are more environmentally friendly than you might initially believe. Wood burning stoves or fireplace inserts can still provide the ambiance of yesteryear with glass doors to show the flickering flames.


In a more congested area where pollution is already a problem, it’s better to invest in fuel that produces fewer emissions, simply for the sake of local air quality. Pellet stoves, while still burning organic material, have a high BTU output but lower emissions, making them a good middle-ground for those who prefer a “wood” fire.

Keep in mind that pellet stoves still require electricity, which does still release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. However, the energy consumption of a pellet stove is less than the consumption of an entire house heated by an electric furnace.

Gas Inserts

If your main goal in including a fireplace in your home is ambiance and an inviting atmosphere, you can’t go wrong with choosing a natural gas or propane insert. Unlike wood stoves that produce smoke, natural gas and propane both burn quite cleanly. They have one of the lowest levels of emissions of all fossil fuels, making them an ideal choice for polluted areas.

That being said, like all fossil fuels, natural gas is not a renewable resource. You will want to research where your local gas is sourced. You can choose to support fuel companies that try to reduce their footprint when extracting natural gas.

Select the Right Size

A fireplace insert or stove that is too small will eat fuel quickly as you try to heat your home. A stove that is too large will also waste fuel—you might burn more than is necessary for your home. It’s best to properly research your heating needs by speaking to a local fireplace specialist.


For more information on choosing a green-friendly stove or fireplace for your home, contact us at Alpine Fireplaces.

6 Tips for Decorating Your Mantelpiece

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In your living room, you have a darling fireplace with a lovely mantel. You may have a few trinkets on it, or it may be completely empty. Either way, perhaps you’ve decided your mantel needs a little extra pizazz. But how do you begin?

Whether you’ve just moved into a new home or have lived in the same cozy house for several years, decorating your mantel gives you a creative outlet and gives your room a unique personality. You can also regularly change up your mantel décor for a fresh look.

But, if you need suggestions for decorating your mantel, take a peek at the following tips to get started.

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