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In Canada, many people think of a fireplace as being quintessential to a grand luxury home. Whether it’s an elegant, sprawling mantel in the living room flanked by comfortable reading chairs, or a sleek model in the bathroom, perfect for a bubble bath on those cold nights, fireplaces make a definite statement. Before you invest in one, however, know that there are both pros and cons:

Con: They’re not always environmentally-friendly.

As soothing as a crackling fire might sound, wood-burning fireplaces can cause air quality problems, even if they’re not used regularly. In addition, they’re not particularly efficient when it comes to heating homes.

Pro: Some types are more environmentally-friendly than others.
Gas or electric fireplaces tend to be more energy-efficient and don’t produce wood smoke, which can be an irritant for some people. They can, however, release carbon monoxide, so it’s best to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is up to date.

Con: They can be a lot of work.
Fireplaces bring risk with them, no matter what type you have. These include air quality problems, fire spread, injuries and carbon monoxide or gas leaks. Aside from supervising your fire as it burns, you might find yourself calling in a technician if anything goes wrong and having staff come in to clean and maintain it.

Pro: You decide how often you use it.
The good news about fireplaces is that you decide when and how often you use it. Obviously, the less wear and tear on a unit, the longer it will last. That being said, you want to be enjoying it enough to be worth the expense!

Con: Their ROI isn’t always the best.
As mentioned, fireplaces can be expensive to install and maintain, and if you’re not using it a regular basis, you might not be getting the best value out of it

Pro: There are so many styles to choose from, so they can double as a statement piece.
Fireplaces come in all types of styles and sizes these days. Whether you want a wrap-around, a sleek unit for a small space or a vintage look-alike, you’ll be able to find it and make it work for your space.