Michigan Fireplace expert, what to look for in buying a fireplace.

Bill Alvarez, a local MI fireplace installer and chimney repair expert explained the different types of fireplaces and what to consider when buying a new fireplace or repairing your original fireplace.

Brick Fireplace

Stone fireplace


At a meeting of the Michigan Contractors Association Bill Alvarez shared what every contractor should know about fireplaces. Bill said, “Fireplaces are simply places to have fires. Fireplaces can be outdoors or in indoors.Fireplaces are generally built out of brickconcrete,stone and metal. Most wood-burning fireplaces include a pit or fire box where the wood is burned, and a chimney where smoke rises and dissipates into the atmosphere. Gas fireplaces are fueled by gas; they may not even have a chimney.”
The majority of fireplaces are wood burners. Wood burners come in a variety of types and styles. The first type of wood burning fireplace is the traditional masonry fireplace. While beautiful and warming to be around, masonry fireplaces are the least efficient type of heating source. Masonry fireplaces can be built out of brick, block, or stone and consists of a firebox and damper, which opens and closes to allow smoke draw into a smoke chamber and finally up a chimney. Having glass doors on this type of fireplace will help increase the heating efficiency and reduce the amount cold air entering the home when the fireplace is not in use.
The second type of fireplace is the fireplace insert or wood burning stove. These come in a huge variety of styles, makes, and models. From the latest fireplace inserts for sale that can produce maximum heating efficiency some even have blower motors. These inserts may burn wood, pellets, or other biofuels. They can either vent out of steel multi wall piping often referred to as a zero clearance fireplace. Inserts for fireplaces can also be installed in existing brick or Masonry fireplaces to increase heating efficiency.
The final type of fireplace is the gas fireplace. They come in three types: inserts, for folks who want to retrofit a wood-burning firebox with something more convenient and efficient; built-ins, for those who want a fireplace where there isn't one now; and log sets, basic burners that sit in existing, open fireplaces. Both inserts and built-in fireplaces are reliable heat producers, filling your room with a mix of warm air and radiant heat. Log sets are usually more for looks than warmth. With each type, you have a choice between models that vent the flames' fumes outside or vent-free versions that discharge all their heat, and exhaust, into the house
Bill finished by saying, “Any fireplace that burns wood produces carbon monoxide and several other harmful gases. If you have a customer who wants to buy a fireplace make sure that it is vented properly. It is also important to make sure that any wood burning fireplace is cleaned annually.”
Bill Alvarez has been in the fireplace and chimney business for 12 years. He is committed to customer satisfaction and quality workmanship.