Types of Fireplaces

Your fireplace acts as both a focal point of your living space and also as a unifying force for friends and family. What are the options, and how do decide which is best for your home?

Vented Gas Fireplaces

The main idea behind a vented fireplace is that the hot air rises up into an exhaust pipe and out of your home. The main advantage of this design is that the hot air doesn’t build up above the fireplace, which could otherwise be an issue if you have a wooden mantel above.

(In a non-vented design, you’ll notice by putting your hand near the fireplace opening just how much heat rises out the front.)

On the other hand, since so much of the fireplace’s heat is vented out the top with this design it’s less efficient for heating your home. This is part of the decision process for homeowners — it’s often a call of whether the fireplace’s purpose is more aesthetic or to function as the main heat source in the room.

Vent-Free Gas Fireplaces

Ventless fireplaces are becoming increasingly common in modern homes. As the name implies, these fireplaces do not feature a vent pipe that takes the hot air out of your home. This makes it more efficient as a heat source for the room, since the hot air has nowhere to go but out the front.

Because of this, however, there is a minimum distance a wooden mantel must be placed above the fireplace to ensure the heat doesn’t create a fire hazard. If height is a concern, a stone fireplace can solve the problem because it isn’t affected by the heat.

Stone also insulates the heat from items further up your wall. For instance, if you’ll be using a wall-mounted TV above the mantel, stone is recommended because it will protect the TV from the heat.

Woodburning Fireplaces

Woodburning fireplaces are the traditional design that involve burning actual wooden logs and venting the smoke out of a chimney. These carry a distinct and beautiful vibe because of their similarity to campfires — reminiscent of bonding experiences from memory.

Modern woodburning fireplaces are EPA-compliant, which means you can rest assured that you are combining efficiency with the hearty warmth that comes from genuine wood fires.


We carry both woodburning and gas stoves. These carry some of the heating benefits of a fireplace, which expands your home’s flexibility when entertaining family and other guests.

The classic cast iron style with modern craftsmanship makes for a beautiful addition to any decor. Vermont Castings  offers Intellifire Touch Technology that allows you to control the stove from anywhere in the room.

Read more great information about fireplaces on the Napoleon blog!

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Builders Fireplace and Stone
5323 Surrett Drive
Archdale, North Carolina 27263


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