With winter on its way, the thought of curling up in front of a fire is very tempting isn't it. You might be thinking of updating your current heating solution or installing a brand new fireplace for the first time. So what should you choose - an open fireplace or a stove? Let’s consider the options.

The great thing is, any fireplace is going to offer certain benefits, whatever you for. You’ll have your home warmed, a new welcoming focal point for family life, and an attractive addition to your household decor. With that in mind, you might want to start your search by looking at all the kinds of fireplace design on the market, so you can work out what look and feel you’re after. One reason for this is because the wide range of models is often available in different fuel options. A woodburning stove, for example, could burn actual wood, or you could have a stove effect in gas or electric.

Of course, an open fireplace will tend to be less expensive in terms of initial costs than a stove, provided you have a chimney that’s operational and in good condition. If you want a real wood burning stove, you’ll need a flue liner and professional fitting. When that’s in place, the cost of burning real fuel in a usual sized sitting room will be more than if you were using gas, but it’ll be cheaper than electricity. So. Swings and roundabouts.

If you’re looking at fuel efficiency, you could say that electric fireplaces are your best bet, as all the heat is retained, unlike a fireplace with a flue where much of the heat escapes up the chimney. (That’s fuel you’ve paid for but not experienced.) But you could go for a flueless gas fire or stove to avoid this drawback.

The look of a stove is perfect if you have a more traditional setting such as a country cottage or an inglenook fireplace. In that case, the aesthetics are likely to be a strong determining factor. Similarly, if you want to have the same traditional look and feel of a stove but in a place where a real one isn’t possible (such as a conservatory or summer house), an electric stove is a real option to bear in mind. It transforms space and gives you an instant fireplace.

If you have a chimney and you want the low-cost option that really goes back to basics, an open fireplace is going to give you the hands-on experience of maintaining your fire, with logs or other solid fuel to store and load, and all the ambience of the real flame. With a wood-burning stove, you’ll have that same experience but with a different look, and probably more fuel efficiency and output.

With electric and gas equivalents being so well-designed and cost-effective these days, the options are endless. Get in touch with us if you need some help deciding on the perfect fireplace for your home.