Most of the old traditional fireplaces found in people’s homes are inefficient and simply a nuisance. These fireplaces are designed with a chimney and an open front that siphons all the newly heated air up and out of the house. These fireplaces aren’t really sources of heat, but just a nuisance and a decoration at best. Below are three types of fireplaces that come in different styles and price ranges that can bring real heat to your home without sucking it away, and can also save you money in unexpected ways, including installation, fuel, and even home insurance costs.

Ethanol-Burning Fireplace

An ethanol-burning fireplace is ideal for clean and safe home heating. They burn denatured ethanol, which means that transportation and installation is easy; it can be carried from one place to another simply by attaching a small fuel tank. Denatured means that the ethanol has certain chemicals added to it, making it safe to use. You can also say goodbye to ashes and burnt logs, as they are not used in this fireplace.

These fireplaces deliver better indoor air quality, and because there is no chimney the heat is retained within the room. However, there can still be problems with safety if you’re not careful; when shopping for one of these fireplaces, avoid cheap designs. These products compromise quality for price, and can put you in danger. For example, instead of using 3 mm thick steel, the sellers go for 1 mm. Look closely before purchasing and you can wind up with a great fireplace that heats your home without putting you in danger.

Insert Fireplace

Insert fireplaces, as their name indicates, are essentially modular boxes that you can insert into a specifically designed or already existing fireplace opening. The Insert Fireplace, if configured correctly, can actually be a generous source of heat for a single room or even a whole house.

These types of fireplace can also help lower your home insurance costs if cleaned regularly, as well as inspected for vulnerabilities in the fireplace. Low homeowners insurance quotes are often offered to people who regularly get fireplace inspections, and insert fireplaces are much simpler in this regard than traditional fireplaces, as long as you also have a screen in front of it. Be sure to purchase an effective fireplace screen to prevent flying sparks and logs from escaping the fireplace, potentially catching your home on fire.

Masonry Heater

Masonry fireplaces, often referred to as the mother of all fireplaces, can truly be a primary source of heat. The stone fireplace should be located in the center of the home, and burns a load of wood very quickly at high temperatures. They are typically only lit once a day, though the fireplace gives off consistent radiant heat for 12 to 24 hours.

If masonry fireplaces are not provided with a large enough foundation to support their bulk, there is a possibility that they will shift or crack, letting the fire escape to nearby combustibles. Always watch out for tell-tale signs of shifting and movement. To prevent birds and other animals from building nests inside your chimney, protect it by installing a chimney guard. These not only yield lower home insurance costs, but also prevent sparks from reaching the roof and lighting it on fire.

Whatever you choose, be sure to take safety into consideration. Traditional wood-burning fireplaces cause numerous chimney fires every year; flying sparks can escape the hearth screen and ignite combustible materials. If you plan carefully and make smart choices, you can lower costs at the same time as improving safety.

Andrew Greene is a freelance insurance writer who blogs for a ppi claims company.