Despite its warm climate, Florida has a number of homes with fireplaces. Wood-burning fireplaces are more common in older houses, which provided warmth before the invention of modern heating systems. Newer Florida homes may have fireplaces simply because they are attractive and nostalgic.
Let’s take a closer look at why some Floridians have fireplaces in their homes!
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Do Homes in Florida Have Fireplaces?
Believe it or not, there are houses with fireplaces in the sunshine state. Despite the region’s sub-tropical climate, it’s not uncommon to find this cozy feature in some houses. You’re more likely to find traditional wood-burning fireplaces in older homes built in the early 1900s. These were used to heat the home during the colder months before modern HVAC systems became popular.
Even though Florida winters don’t usually get very cold, fireplaces provide desirable warmth and ambiance and are especially popular among people moving in from northern states.
Over some time, fireplaces became less popular in Florida as they were replaced by forced-air heating systems. However, some larger, more expensive houses still included a fireplace in their construction. These newer hearths were mostly ornamental. While they were still technically functional, more effort was put into making them a beautiful, eye-catching centerpiece.
Fireplaces have become more popular again thanks to the introduction of prefabricated, lightweight inserts. Powered by gas or electricity rather than wood, these are easier to install in an existing home than a full-sized, wood-burning fireplace. They are also easier to use and don’t require any special cleanup.
You won’t find fireplaces just inside the home either! Due to the popularity of outdoor living spaces in Florida’s warm climate, many folks have put fireplaces outside. They can be found in the poolside lounge area or in an open-air kitchen. These are just as cozy and warm as indoor fireplaces, with the added joy of spending time outside in the fresh air.
All things considered, do you really need a fireplace in Florida? Let’s take a closer look at the climate and how cold it actually gets around the state.
How Cold Does It Get in Florida?
Many people know Florida as being warm year-round, at least compared to what some folks in the North experience, but the sunshine state isn’t perfect and sunny year-round.
Florida’s climate is subtropical with an average year-round temperature of 70° Fahrenheit, but winter can still get chilly with the temperature dipping down as low as 40° Fahrenheit. Depending on location, winter temperatures range from 79° Fahrenheit down to 37° Fahrenheit.
Keep in mind Florida’s southern peninsula will have warmer temperatures overall, with a hotter summer and mild winter. Further north in the panhandle, where the state meets with the rest of the US, winters tend to be colder and may even see occasional snowfall.
5 Reasons Why Florida Homes Have Fireplaces
Now that we’ve established that Florida homes sometimes have fireplaces, let’s look closer at some of the reasons why! In this section, we will explore five different reasons why someone might have a fireplace in their Florida home:
- It’s an old house
- Fireplaces are cozy and nostalgic
- Fireplaces are decorative
- Fire is a pleasant way to warm up
- Fireplaces are useful in emergencies
1. It’s an old house built before modern heating systems
This was mentioned earlier, but it’s worth repeating here. Century homes in Florida are likely to have a fireplace in the main living space as this was the main way of heating the house during the winter. Even though winters are fairly mild in the area, you still get the occasional cold snap. Starting a fire adds just enough warmth to the home to keep the indoor temperature comfortable year-round. While these older homes have had new heating systems installed over the years, many still have their original fireplaces as a relic of the past.
2. Fireplaces are cozy and nostalgic
Having a fireplace is nice even if it doesn’t serve a practical purpose. People, in general, are drawn to fire. Having a fireplace in the home, even when the weather is warm, is pleasurable in the same way that one might build a campfire on a warm summer evening. It sets a warm, cheerful mood.
A fireplace or hearth is often considered to be the heart of the home. It is a gathering place for family. This is especially nice during the winter holiday season. Many people love to hang their Christmas stockings above the fireplace! Even if it only gets used a few times a year, having a fireplace in the home is worth it for folks who love the nostalgia and coziness that it brings.
3. Fireplaces are decorative
Another reason a Florida home might have a fireplace is that it can be a beautiful focal point of the living space. They usually are located in the main living space, like a family room where people spend most of their time. Even without fire lit, they bring a certain warmth to the house as if to say, “This is a nice home to live in!” There are so many attractive fireplace designs; some coastal homes even incorporate large seashells into the stonework. This makes for a wonderfully decorative accent, even if it doesn’t get used very often.
4. Fire is a nice way to warm up on a chilly evening
Even though houses nowadays have central heating systems, sometimes it’s nice to get a little extra heat from a fire. Lighting up the fireplace can stave off the chill in those few chilly weeks in winter. It’s also a quick and cheap way to heat up a centrally-located room where people spend a lot of time. This can end up being marginally cheaper than turning up the thermostat for the whole house (especially if it’s a big house).
This is also where the popular outdoor fireplace comes into play. The Florida sun is nice and warm during the day, but the air can certainly cool off in the evening once it gets dark. An outdoor fireplace lets you and your family spend more time outside even after the sun goes down. Personally, I love to dry off and warm up by the fireplace after an evening swim in the pool.
5. They are a good emergency backup
For those rare occasions in which the power goes out during the winter, a wood-burning fireplace comes in handy during emergencies. With a traditional fireplace, you can safely heat a room to stay warm with no electricity. It is dangerous to burn anything in your home without adequate ventilation, even if you need to stay warm. A fireplace flue prevents smoke and deadly carbon monoxide from filling your home.
In addition to warmth during an emergency, a fireplace also provides a place to cook as well as a source of light. While emergencies like this are rare, they still happen occasionally (like recent events in Texas), and it is important to have a backup plan just in case. A wood-burning fireplace is a useful tool that can provide multiple functions if your home is without power.
Need More Help?
You can always ask us here at Fireplace Tips, but you should know the other resources available to you! Here are the resources we recommend.
- Chimney Safety Institute of North America (CSIA): The CSIA is your BEST resource for fireplace and chimney safety at home. They’re a non-profit governed by a volunteer board of directors dedicated to the education, training, and certification of chimney and industry related professionals.
- Self-Sufficiency and Off-Grid: If you’re like me and passionate about off-grid and self-sufficiency, see my number 1 resource—Abundance Plus. Check out their Frugal Homesteading Course on growing 90% of your own food. Get 7-days free and 10% off with the code: TYLER10