Fireplace blowers are a simple yet often overlooked tool used for increasing a fireplace’s heat output into a room. The question is, should you have it for your fireplace or not?
A fireplace blower is not necessary for a fireplace to work. However, a blower helps spread warm air from a fireplace further into a room. It essentially blows the warm air away from the fire out into the room, leading to the room heating faster and more efficient.
In this post, you’ll learn about why you may want to use a fireplace blower and how they work. You’ll also learn how much a typical blower installation may cost you and how loud a blower can be when running.
Should You Have A Fireplace Blower Or Not?
A fireplace blower is not necessary for your fireplace to function. Still, a blower can help circulate heat from a fireplace further into a room. Without a blower, heat is less likely to travel as far into a room. The fireplace’s heat will remain hottest near the hearth, leaving the corners of the room cooler.
In short, you’ll want to use a blower if you prefer the heat from your fireplace to spread out evenly over a greater area. You may choose this if your fireplace is in a prime gathering spot and you wish to keep everyone warm and comfortable.
You can skip the blower if you aren’t concerned about keeping a room at an even temperature. No matter where you’re sitting, a blower can push warm air into all corners of a room.
Do note that a fireplace blower does not increase your fireplace’s heating capacity. While a blower circulates and spreads heat, it doesn’t increase your fireplace’s BTU output.
What Is A Fireplace Blower?
A fireplace blower is a fan accessory system used to circulate hot air around the fireplace before it is blown into a room.
A fireplace blower is also called a fireplace heater or fan.
Where Is A Blower Located?
A blower mounts on the outside of a fireplace, which may be located in the front or back of the unit. A blower may also be positioned within the fireplace hearth yet outside the firebox.
How Does A Fireplace Blower Work?
A fireplace blower works by drawing cool air in from a room into the fan, which carries the interior air to the top of the fireplace where it’s heated. This heated air is then pushed out from the blower into your home.
The mechanics of a fireplace blower are typically the same across different fireplace blowers.
So, how does a fireplace fan work?
First, let’s picture a fireplace set up with a blower attached. A series of heat-resistance tubes are connected to a fan at the top of the firebox. Another set of heat-resistant metal tubes are located underneath the fireplace.
When the blower is turned on, it draws in cool air into the bottom tubes. That air travels through the tubes to the top of the firebox, where the fire heats the cool air. Finally, the hot air is then forced out into your home.
As the fan circulates, air continues to travel through these open-ended tubes, thus heating your entire room and not just the area surrounding the hearth.
Why Should You Have A Blower For Your Fireplace?
Fireplace blowers are beneficial to have installed to your fireplace because they helps maintain a room’s ambient temperature, increasing a fireplace’s overall effectiveness.
A blower can make a room noticeably warmer in all parts of the room and less drafty since the fan circulates cool air in and forces warm air back out. A blower also pushes warm air further into a room than a fireplace without a fan.
Are Fireplace Blowers Noisy?
Fireplace blowers make some noise since they use a motor to work, though they are not notably louder than any typical household fan – think the stove vent or bathroom fan. It’ll depend on the manufacturer you get your blower from how loud it may be.
If you start to hear unusual noise or vibration coming from your blower when it’s on (after regularly using it), dust may have accumulated on the fan blades.
Too much dust creates an imbalanced spinning fan, which causes noise. If it’s not dust, the motor bearings may be wearing down.
You can clean the fan blades yourself, but if you’ve done that and your fireplace blower is still grumbling and rumbling, you may want to either replace it yourself or call a professional.
Should I Have A Blower For A Wood-Burning Fireplace?
If you have a circulating wood-burning fireplace (versus a radiant fireplace), you can install a blower on it. However, it’s not required.
Though blowers are most often installed in gas fireplaces, wood-burning fireplaces can benefit from their installation too.
Both wood-burning and gas fireplaces are designed to blow air around the combustion chamber and firebox in a process called convection. During this process, the fireplace slowly gets hot, which causes the heated air to move into a room slowly as well. Attaching a blower fan to your fireplace ensures heated air will move faster into your space.
Note that a blower is different from a heater in that a blower forces air somewhere – in this case, heated air from a fireplace into a room. A heater is a separate unit with the function of only creating warm air.
Should I Have A Blower For A Gas Fireplace?
If you have a circulating gas fireplace, you can install a blower fan to it, but it’s not necessary.
Check that the blower model you get is compatible with the fuel type required for your gas fireplace. You may also want to measure the blower space to ensure you get a fan kit that fits. Lastly, think about the heat the blower will push into your room – you don’t want the BTUs to be too high, therefore making your fire too hot and dangerous!
Should I Have A Blower For An Electric Fireplace?
Electric fireplaces do not need a blower installed.
Some electric fireplaces will have an integrated blower already installed in the unit. Electric fireplaces, for example, that feature fan-forced heaters use a blower that comes attached to the unit itself.
On the other hand, infrared electric fireplaces do not need a blower and therefore do not come installed with one.
Can You Run Your Fireplace Without A Blower?
You can use your fireplace without a blower without any issues. A fireplace blower is merely an accesory.
You can use your fireplace without the blower since the fan is on your fireplace’s exterior and thus does not decrease your fireplace’s fuel efficiency. Remember that a blower is used for blowing warm air out into a room; it does not create heat or necessarily vent it.
With that being said, if you choose to run your gas or wood-burning fireplace without the blower, make sure your fireplace is safely enclosed in the hearth and is appropriately vented.
How Much Does It Cost To Install A Fireplace Blower?
On average, it costs around $100 – $500 for a complete fireplace blower system, though some may top prices of $1,000 or more.
It can cost on average $400 for a professional fireplace service company to replace your blower fan assembly, including parts and labor.
If you choose to replace the fan yourself, you can expect to shell out around $100 – $150 for parts.