You love a warm fire on those cool evenings, but you're tired of dealing with the soot and ash of the wood-burning fireplace. A gas fireplace conversion will let you keep the fire going with less maintenance. Here is how to switch your fireplace to a quick and efficient gas system so you can stop hauling wood into your house and ashes out.
Options For a Gas Supply to Your Fireplace
The first consideration is how to fuel the fireplace conversion with gas. The two options include:
- Have a contractor run an extension from an existing gas line to the fireplace.
- Have an LP gas specialist install a liquid propane tank outside of your home with a line into the fireplace.
When you begin shopping around for a gas fireplace insert, you'll find the following three options:
Vented gas logs - These are realistic-looking logs made of a fireproof material, such as ceramic. The more they look like real wood, the more expensive the logs will be. Each set of logs will have a set of gas jets hidden within them. The logs sit on your existing fireplace grate, just like the real logs. The gas line connects to the logs. You turn on the gas and use a match or electrical starter to light the logs. The flame produced will look similar to a real wood fire. The burnt gases go up the fireplace flue like a real fire, but you don't have the messy ashes and soot to contend with.
Vent-less gas fireplace insert - This is a unit that sits in your fireplace box. The fumes created by this device are minimal, so they don't need to go up the flue and you can keep it closed. If what you like best about a fireplace is the heat, this may be the option for you because more of the heat stays in your house and less goes up the chimney. But these units tend to look less like a traditional wood fire. They also cannot be run for long periods because of the trace amount of exhaust gases that they do produce.
Vented gas fireplace insert - This unit also installs in the firebox of your existing fireplace. These units produce more exhaust gases which need to go up the chimney and out of the house. The fire tends to look more like a real wood fire and is often enclosed behind glass doors. Electric blowers force more of the heat out of the insert and out into your house. These units can also be safely run for long periods.
When you're tired of cleaning up after a real wood fire, but still enjoy the warmth of a fireplace, one of these gas options may be just right for you. Contact a company like Alpine Fireplaces for more information and ideas.