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When you are renovating your living room, it may feel like a major mistake to even consider removing an old fireplace. They are after all often seen as a bonus to potential homebuyers.

But, fireplaces have just as many cons as they do pros. Some of those negatives are fairly large

Here are three very realistic reasons on why you might want to get rid of that old fireplace once and for all.

They’re Expensive

Fireplaces are not something you can just use when you feel like it and ignore the rest of the time. They require a lot of upkeep and maintenance.

For instance, you should have annual flue and chimney inspections to make sure they are in safe working condition. Flue and chimney problems can allow toxic fumes into your home.

Chimneys also require cleaning. It depends on how often you use yours, but a chimney that gets a lot of use is going to quickly get a buildup of dangerous creosote. Annual cleanings are yet another cost you need to factor in.

And, it’s common for older chimneys to have structural problems with their crowns. Crown replacement is a job that can cost you thousands of dollars.

They’re Dangerous

There’s nothing completely safe about having a live fire in the middle of your living room, even if it’s partially contained in your fireplace. It’s something you cannot disregard.

Many people don’t realize just how many things can go wrong with a fireplace. First, you have a live burning fire in the middle of your home. Anyone that has seen a fire before knows red hot embers do crackle and pop often jumping off. If you’re not using a screen of glass enclosure, you’re asking for a serious problem.

Additionally, starting a fire is not as easy as many people think. They often use too much paper or an accelerant like lighter fluid. Too much paper can actually ignite the soot within the chimney, and accelerants give off harmful fumes. The fact you are inside makes those fumes even worse.

They’re Outdated

Having a traditional fireplace in the 1800’s made sense. If you live in an area that has a cold season, it was your only way to keep your home warm. But, nowadays, we have many other safer and more efficient heating options.

Furnaces and modern HVAC systems heat your home much more evenly and efficiently. You can even set up different zones within your home so you aren’t wasting energy on sections of a house that aren’t used at different parts of the day.

And, for those that just want the ambiance of a fireplace, there’s the option of buying an electric fireplace. Moderns electric fireplaces not only give off heat, they actually have flames that appear as natural as wood burning fireplaces as well as make the same wood crackling sounds.

In Summary

Traditional wood burning fireplaces made sense for homes before modern heating methods were developed. But now, a traditional fireplace can be viewed as more of an expensive and fairly dangerous novelty.

With so many better options available, it’s a wonder why so many home buyers would considering purchasing a home with a fireplace instead of one with a state-of-the-art HVAC system and a modern electric fireplace.