There's something about curling up in front of a toasty fire during winter that brightens the corners of the soul. The warmth encourages you to relax and maybe snooze a bit, taking the edge off a busy day. Sharing the firelight with loved ones makes the time around the hearth even better. It can bring back memories of gathering around a campfire as you bask in the warm glow.
Source of Pleasure
Heat is one of the benefits of a fireplace, but we're not talking about utilitarian home heating here. Fireplace inserts (units that fit into an existing fireplace) and gas or wood stoves are generally the most efficient heat sources. But if you want atmosphere and ambience, nothing equals the old-fashioned appeal of an open fireplace.
Sitting down and watching the flames has a soothing effect, which makes the area around the fireplace an excellent place to meditate and enjoy quiet time. Studies show that finding time to unwind will help you stay calm when stressful situations arise.
A Case for Wood
Brian Shannon shares his past and his passion for wood-burning fires with wife Jennie and their two sons. "It's all we ever had when I was growing up," he says. "My parents still burn four to six cords of wood each winter. Of course, they heat their home with wood, and we don't. Jennie and I will enjoy maybe one fire a week, on a Friday or Saturday night."
On the question of gas logs, Brian says, "Jennie's mother offered to put in gas logs for us, but we prefer wood. It's a little more work, but it's worth it. A fire isn't all about the heat."