Wood-burning fireplaces are cozy, romantic, and nostalgic home centerpieces, but they’re terribly inefficient and difficult to maintain. Many people wish they had a gas fireplace instead of a wood-burning one but think it isn’t possible. In this blog post, we’ll show you that it’s possible to do and give you the best reasons to take the leap.
If you own a wood-burning fireplace and are jealous of friends or neighbors who have gas models, there’s good news; you can convert your traditional fireplace to gas, and it’s not as cost-prohibitive or time-consuming as you might think.
If you decide to go down this path, the first thing to do is get your chimney and flue inspected by a trained professional. This inspection will determine they are in good condition and properly sized for a gas insert.
Next, if you don’t have a gas line, you’ll have to get one run to the fireplace or wherever you want the insert installed.
Finally, you must install a venting system to exhaust the gases produced by your new gas fireplace safely. Installing a new gas fireplace insert can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on whether you need a gas line installed and the insert you choose. However, this isn’t a DIY project and requires licensed professionals to ensure the system is installed safely and runs properly.
If you want to convert your wood fireplace to gas, you probably have your reasons. But if you’ve never thought about it, here are its benefits.
Simply put, gas fireplaces are much easier to use. You never have to worry about chopping or buying wood, cleaning up ashes, or struggling to start and maintain a fire. Just push a button or flip a switch, and it’s flame-on instantly. Some gas systems even have a remote control, so you don’t even have to get up from the couch to get a roaring fire going.
It’s true that nothing can replace the authenticity of a wood-burning fireplace. The sounds, the smells, and the ambiance it provides is a one-of-a-kind. However, wood-burning fireplaces are inefficient. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, gas fireplaces can be up to 99% efficient, while wood fireplaces are only about 70% efficient. If you’re concerned about getting the most heat for your money, gas wins hands down.
Converting or installing a gas fireplace can be expensive, but over the long term, the energy efficiency saves you money. Moreover, gas is typically cheaper than wood, and you won’t need to pay for chimney cleaning every year. Finally, many potential homebuyers prefer gas fireplaces over wood, which could make your home more valuable if you ever decide to sell.
Gas fireplaces are generally considered safer than wood burning because they don’t produce sparks or embers that could escape and cause a fire. They also don’t produce creosote, a byproduct of burning wood, which builds up inside the chimney and is the leading cause of chimney fires. It’s true that gas fireplaces come with their safety concerns, but as long as you have them installed and inspected by a certified professional, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Many people are sensitive to smoke and the fine particulate that comes from burning wood, which are things you don’t have to worry about with a gas fireplace. Furthermore, since the fire in the gas system is contained in a sealed unit, the fuel combustion is more complete with fewer emissions.
Lastly, gas fireplaces require less maintenance than wood-burning ones. You won’t need to clean up ashes or worry about creosote buildup in the chimney, which can be a fire hazard.
In addition, gas fireplaces don’t produce the same amount of soot and debris as wood-burning ones, making them easier to keep clean.
We’re a family-owned, locally operated, full-service chimney and fireplace company. Our technicians have a combined 39 years of experience, and we’re fully licensed, insured, and certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild. If you’re interested in a gas fireplace installation or need chimney sweeping, repairs, maintenance, or inspection, contact us at 719-661-3277.