5 Benefits of a Fireplace in Your Home

It seems like everyone is getting a fireplace these days, even when they live in warmer climes where it rarely freezes. You have to admit that a fireplace adds charm to any home . . . but is it worth the investment?

In short, it is. There are many excellent reasons to install a fireplace. Here are five that top the list.

1. It Adds Value

Many homeowners won’t consider installing a fireplace because they assume it’ll be too costly. They may be unaware of the array of affordable options for adding a fireplace, such as a fireplace insert as opposed to a complete, wood-burning unit that requires a chimney.

More to the point, the installation can add instant value to your home. The National Center for Real Estate ran a study that found a fireplace addition adds about 12 percent to your current home value.

Wood-burning fireplaces are the most popular, according to the survey, because homeowners like the additional heating option if the power goes out. The National Association of Realtors also conducted a survey that indicated a home will sell for more if you install a fireplace.

The study estimated that a homebuyer will pay 46 percent more for a home that has a fireplace. Given these findings, it’s difficult to argue that a fireplace is too expensive, at least in the long run.

2. It Can Be Energy Efficient

If the fireplace is new or meets modern standards of efficiency, you can save a substantial amount on your energy bills. A fireplace—whether wood-burning, gas, or electric—adds to the heat of your entire structure.

If it’s placed at the center of the building, where it can radiate heat to most the house, you’ll increase efficiency even more.

Fireplaces—even electrical and gas inserts—lower your carbon footprint too. If you’re concerned about reducing your drag on the environment, this is an excellent renovation to make.

3. It Creates Ambiance

The simple aesthetic value of installing a fireplace is enough to sway some homeowners. It creates an unparalleled ambiance that makes any room feel warmer and more comfortable, even when the fireplace isn’t lit.

On the other hand, it’s perfect for romantic evenings or sociable gatherings with friends when you want to create a cozy atmosphere. It’s also an excellent design feature.

It’s hard to deny that the appearance of a fireplace in a living room is powerful. Many fireplaces also feature a floor-to-ceiling surround with a decorated mantle that adds vertical appeal.

In a room where all the furniture may be the same height, this vertical décor injects balance and harmony.

4. It’s Scientifically Proven to Benefit Your Mental Health

When a fire is burning—even if it’s gas or electric—it fosters a calm, relaxing feeling for individuals who sit or stand near it. A fire may call to mind the sensation of sitting on the beach and hearing the waves wash upon the shore.

The connection to nature encourages an evolutionary phenomenon that causes our blood pressure to drop and our serotonin to flare. It’s not just imagination at work here: These findings are supported by an experiment (among others) in which 226 adults sat by a fire and watched the flames flicker and pop.

Later, scientists took their blood pressure and noted significant reductions whose size was more or less related to the time they sat by the fire. Researchers also noticed more social connection among participants—the antithesis of anxiety.

5. It’s an Extra Heat Source

Every year, parts of the world experience a phenomenon known as El Niño. It’s a cold spell that hits a region and creates low temperatures, snowstorms, and inch-thick ice on every surface.

If you’ve ever experienced such a storm when the power goes out, you know the value of having an alternative heat source. A wood-burning or gas fireplace (in some instances) will burn even when the power is out. You don’t have to worry about huddling in blankets and praying for a miracle because your fireplace keeps things toasty.

For any number of reasons, a fireplace in your home can be a huge asset. Don’t worry about the cost of installation; this wonderful unit will pay for itself in aesthetic, emotional, and monetary value.

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