An indoor outdoor fireplace is an encased combustion chamber that can be opened on either side and, as its named implies, it is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. Like any appliance it has pros and cons. To determine if it is the right option for your home, you will want to weigh such considerations as purchase price, fuel, eco-friendliness, maintenance and aesthetics.
- Ease of installation. Adding a wall-mounted indoor fireplace to your home is a simple and relatively painless task.
- Portability. An indoor outdoor fireplace can be taken down and reassembled as needed, allowing you to determine where it will be used on any given occasion unlike a traditional fireplace, which restricts social gatherings to its set location.
- Clean fuel. Indoor outdoor fireplaces typically use gel fuels instead of wood or gas. An alcohol-based, smokeless and odor-free product, gel fuel produces no emissions or messy byproducts like ashes or soot.
- Energy efficiency. Indoor outdoor fireplaces trap heat rather than expelling it through a chimney or flue, making them far more efficient than traditional fireplaces.
- Sleek aesthetic. Most indoor outdoor fireplaces are sleek, modern and elegant in design unlike traditional fireplaces, which wear with age and become decrepit.
- Safe to use. Because the need for a chimney or flue is eliminated, indoor outdoor fireplaces are much safer to use.
- Affordability. An indoor outdoor fireplace will usually run you a few hundred dollars, based on quality. A new traditional fireplace can cost thousands of dollars before factoring in installation.
- Easy fuel storage. Gel fuel canisters take less room to store and are cleaner than piles of wood.
- Lacking in ambiance. The hearth of an indoor outdoor fireplace is rather small and unimpressive and won't create the same sensation of snuggling up around a roaring fire on a chilly night.
- Cost of gel fuel. If you live in a rural area where you can chop your own wood or obtain it from local wood cutters, gel fuel will definitely exceed the cost of wood fuel. With an indoor outdoor fireplace you will be dependent on purchasing gel fuel containers.
- Short-lasting fires. Gel fuel provides only about 3 hours of fire. Wood fires vary but generally last a few hours longer.