Pros and Cons of Having a Fireplace in Your Apartment

March 24, 2021

There are a lot of things people look for in apartments. Anything from the way an apartment is heated and cooled to the presence or absence of different appliances such as washers, dryers, and dishwashers can be important enough to renters that they can be make-it-or-break-it items. Others, like fireplaces, are less of a need and more of a perk. That said, when it comes to fireplaces there are some pros and cons to having one in your apartment that you should be aware of.

Pro: Easy Warmth

Watching flames in a fireplace can be mesmerizing, and is one of the things that makes fireplaces so deliciously relaxing. The other component is how wonderfully warm they can be. Fireplaces can be an easy source of warmth for the apartment, especially for the room they’re installed in. It’s good to note that there are different types of fireplaces and some are more effective at heating space than others. Being aware of what type of fireplace you have in your apartment can help you take advantage of the specific benefits associated with it and understand how to get the most out of it.

Pro: Saving on Heating

Using a fireplace as your primary way to heat your apartment can help you reduce your power bill, especially if you understand the keys to having an efficient fireplace. Different types of fireplaces have different degrees of efficiency. The more efficient the fireplace, the more you can save on heating. It can be an especially effective way to heat your apartment if you want to do zone heating. Your fireplace can heat your whole apartment, but the further away you are from the fireplace, the less heat will get to different rooms.

Pro: An Excellent Focal Point

From an interior design perspective, a fireplace can be an excellent focal point for the room it’s in. How you arrange the room can dramatically impact the look and feel of a room with a fireplace. You can orient the furniture so it angles towards the fireplace, add decoration to the mantle, hang art above it, and balance the room using the fireplace as a central point to work outwards from. What works best for your fireplace will depend on the space you have and where your fireplace is positioned in the room.

Pro: Creating a Cozy Atmosphere

A fireplace can help you create a cozy atmosphere in your apartment, especially when it’s on. Between the warm glow and the warmth it puts off, it can be very comforting. This is only amplified during the holiday season and the cold months of the year. If you need to unplug and take a break from technology, turn on the fireplace, turn off the lights, and cozy up with some friends, blankets, and comforting treats for a chance to enjoy some company and wonderful conversation.

Con: May Require Regular Cleaning

If the fireplace in your apartment is a wood fireplace, it’s going to require regular cleaning. With all the ash and soot they produce, wood fireplaces can be quite dirty. For this type of fireplace, you’ll need to make sure both it and the chimney are thoroughly cleaned before you turn it on for the first time. You’ll also need to regularly clean out and properly dispose of the ashes. Having the chimney professionally cleaned is a good way to make sure it’s done properly. This is likely something your landlord will handle, but you should still be aware of it to make sure it’s done before you use it. Make sure that the terms governing who specifically is responsible for what with the fireplace are clearly specified in your lease agreement.

Con: Can Be Dangerous

Fire is a destructive element by nature. It’s warm, but dangerous. In the case of wood fireplaces, if they aren’t properly cleaned they can lead to destructive chimney fires. With gas fireplaces, there’s a risk of gas leaking. That can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning. Fires in apartments are especially dangerous since if there’s a fire in your apartment it can easily spread to other units, causing catastrophic destruction that can put the lives of everyone living in them at risk. Make sure you keep your furniture and other belongings placed a safe distance away from the fireplace. If you have an unvented gas fireplace, make sure you keep a window open to keep fresh air coming in to balance any gases that may be leaking.

Con: May Not Be Environmentally Friendly

Wood fireplaces aren’t environmentally friendly. They produce a decent amount of heat, but a significant amount gets lost up the chimney. Additionally, they produce a lot of pollutants that can hurt the air quality. Between the gas and fine particles produced by burning wood, the products of burning wood aren’t something you want getting into the air we breathe. They can cause breathing problems and damage your lungs. Gas fireplaces are more environmentally friendly, but the fumes they put out are still a problem. Electric fireplaces are generally considered the most eco-friendly fireplace option.

Con: It May Not Get Used

Even if there’s a fireplace installed in your apartment, you may not be able to use it. The liability and costs associated with using a fireplace may be enough to discourage your landlord from allowing you to make use of it. If you are allowed to use it, you could see that reflected in your rent. That can be frustrating if you think about how often you use your fireplace, or rather how often it isn’t used. It doesn’t always make sense to have the fireplace going, and having to pay for something you aren’t really using doesn’t feel good.

Having a fireplace in your apartment may seem like a desirable thing, even if it’s not something that’s on your list of amenities you want. That said, upon closer inspection, you may find that having one isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. There are pros and cons to having a fireplace in an apartment that should be weighed before you decide to move in. If nothing else it can help you decide whether or not to use it if your apartment has one.

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