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The Definitive Guide to Fireplaces

by Star Fires

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Couple relaxing near a fire

A fireplace can be a great addition to any house. It not only gives nice and cosy atmosphere but also warms a house during cold and humid days. If you have been thinking about getting one and you are not sure how to choose it, see below and compare which type would suit you the best.

Before any purchase, consult with a qualified specialist if your home is properly adjusted and all safety requirements are met.

Chimney or no chimney?

The first question you need to answer is if you have a chimney or are you prepared to get one. If the answer to both questions is no, you won’t be able to install a wood burning fireplace nor some of a direct-vented gas burning fireplaces.

Types of fireplaces

The first decision that has to be made is choosing a type of fireplace. There are various types, such as wood burning, gas, ethanol, electric, pellet and kerosene.  

Wood burning fireplace

Without a doubt, a wood burning fireplace is the most traditional solution and creates a unique ambience, there is nothing like the smell and the sound of burning wood.

The biggest advantages of it are, the atmosphere it creates and the amount of produced heat. A wood burning fireplace can be open or closed. The closed ones stop the heat from escaping through the chimney and keep the room warmer.

The downside of such a solution is the cost of wood and the need of cleaning the ashes after every use.

Gas fireplace

The gas fireplace is a more economical solution, as it provides more heat at a lower cost. You can choose between direct-vented, which requires a chimney, or alternatively, a pipe. If you don’t want to make any changes in the house, but still use the gas fireplace, there is also a ventless option, however, it needs a good ventilation system in the house as harmful fumes can get into the heated room.

Ethanol fireplace

It’s a great solution for a modern design. You can find stylish, ethanol fireplaces which not only complement your interior but also warm up the room. They don’t require any venting and minimal efforts with installation. It’s also more eco-friendly than gas or wood-burning fireplace.

Electric fireplace

The biggest advantage of an electric fireplace it that is can be fitted almost anywhere as long as there is an electricity plug. It is a very comfortable option, allowing you to just switch it on and off whenever you want. Some fireplaces have a remote control allowing you to adjust fire effects. They don’t require any type of venting and come in various types of designs, fitting into any style.

Pellet stove

The pellet stove doesn’t usually have the charm of a traditional fireplace, however, it’s a very cost-effective and eco-friendly solution, as it runs on renewable energy like biomass pellets or compressed wood. It doesn’t require a chimney, however, it needs a proper exhaust pipe, which can be installed in an existing chimney.

There are also pellet boilers, which can be used and a central heating system connected to existing plumbing.  

Kerosene fireplace

It’s something in between a fireplace and a heater. This portable and unvented device doesn’t need electricity, hence, it can be used anywhere. However, as all unvented devices, it has to be used in properly ventilated rooms, with open windows or doors.


Apart from a good heat source, a fireplace should play well with your interior design. The most classic solution is, of course, a wood burning fireplace. On the other hand, some of other types can be styled to imitate it as well. Electric and ethanol fireplaces usually have more modern and contemporary designs.

This article is brought to you by Star Fires, a leading supplier of fireplaces in Malta.

Since 1997, Star Fires has been distributing the best brands available on the European market, such as HAAS+SOHN, Focus, MS, Saey and Dik Guerts, providing not only efficient but also modern and stylish solutions all around Malta and Gozo.The company offers a vast range of wood burning, gas, electric and bioethanol fireplaces. Moreover, you can find barbeques, indoor and outdoor ovens and building materials such as chimney pots, stainless steel piping and tubing. Star Fires understands the importance of meeting clients expectations, therefore the company provides custom-made fireplaces, adjusted to your personal needs.

Apart from free a quotation, you can ask for a home visit, where a qualified specialist can thoroughly inspect your current installations and suggest the best solution for you. The company also offers the installation and after-sales service, to ensure safety procedures are in place so you can enjoy your fireplace to the full.If you have any questions you can visit the premises in Naxxar, where the professional staff will happily assist you and answer any questions.