The truth about fireplaces, and what are your options?
Ahhhh…. Fireplaces. The soul gets warmer thinking about cozying up by a nice warm flame this time of year. With the City of Montreal’s New Regulations on Wood Burning Fireplaces, those of us that want to continue being cozy may have to do some shopping. I’ve had many inquiries on this matter, so I decided to clarify the situation since winter is coming. The fireplace salesman and the city of Montreal are both imparting the same information:
- Any existing wood burning fireplace has to be registered with the city (as of December 2015) and then inspected. (If you have not already registered, you still can.)
- You are allowed to burn wood fires this winter but they suggest you do so sparingly and not on high level smog days.
- If you are renovating or building new, you CAN install a wood burning fireplace as long as it meets the new guidelines for emissions, and you register it.
- You do not need to replace or register gas burning fireplaces.
- The cost of installing a new wood burning insert vs. a gas insert is comparable unless you don’t already have a gas meter.
- Electric fireplaces create a warm ambiance with an integrated heater and simulation of a fireplace using lights. This is likely the most affordable replacement if you can live without the real flame.
Don’t forget that the function of the fireplace insert is only half of the whole. A complete fireplace should also be well finished. The look of your home needs to be factored in when picking a new model. Remember that integrating your fireplace into your space, be it modern or more traditional, is what will really make it glow.