Fireplace Questions and Answers
Fireplaces – FAQs
Table Of Contents
- 1 Are gas fireplace inserts worth it?
- 2 What are the different kinds of gas fireplaces?
- 3 Which one is the right gas fireplace for you?
- 4 How much efficient is a gas fireplace?
- 5 Can you put a gas fireplace on an interior wall?
- 6 Do gas fireplaces use a lot of gas?
- 7 How do I convert my fireplace to gas?
- 8 How much does a gas fireplace cost?
- 9 Is installing a gas fireplace easy?
- 10 What is the best time to get a gas fireplace installed?
- 11 What are the advantages of using a gas fireplace over a wood fireplace?
- 12 Are fumes from gas fireplace harmful?
- 13 What are the signs of carbon entering your home?
- 14 What can you do to prevent exposure to harmful carbon gases?
- 15 Is a gas fireplace better than an electric fireplace?
Are gas fireplace inserts worth it?
In the areas with colder climates, there is a need to have a fireplace to keep the home warm enough. That’s where gas fireplaces come in!
In older times, people used to have wood fireplaces. Gas fireplaces are a new addition. With this addition, the question comes up if gas fireplaces are worth to insert it. Yes, gas fireplaces are worth inserting as they free you from the hassle of burning woods. They provide a lot of ease and convenience than that of wood fireplaces. Moreover, they look realistic and give an equally aesthetic look like that of real woods burning. When it comes to maintenance, they need minimal maintenance. Being not very hard to maintain, they are worth inserting.
When it comes to heating, they are capable enough to heat an entire room in minutes. Therefore, they are worth inserting, keeping in view all the different aspects, such as ease of use, easy maintenance, affordable, and efficient enough to heat the required area.
Furthermore, if you are going for a vented gas fireplace, it comes with another advantage. You do not need a pre-built chimney in your house to have a gas fireplace installed. With modern vented technology, you can get a fireplace without a chimney. Thus, gas fireplace inserts are worth it.
What are the different kinds of gas fireplaces?
When you are considering a gas option for heating your house, there are several available choices. Following are the different kinds of gas fireplaces you can choose from as per your needs and requirements:
Gas Logs/Log Sets:
If you already have a wood burning fireplace, but you need a better looking and convenient heating option, you can switch to gas logs, also known as log sets. They are a stack of ceramic logs that you can put inside your fireplace. Using a gas burner, they can be easily turned on.
They come in both vented and vent-free option. If you do not have a chimney, the gas and heat will combust into your house along with other gas fumes. This is known as vent-free gas logs. However, if you have a built-in chimney, these gas logs vent up into the chimney. This is known as vented gas logs.
One thing to remember is that gas logs produce lesser heat as compared to gas inserts and gas fireplaces. They are mostly used to add an aesthetic look to your living area. Also, they can be used if you do not require to heat space much.
Gas logs are relatively cheaper and affordable than gas inserts and fireplaces. If you are running low on budget, gas logs are the only option to keep your area cozy.
Gas inserts are used when you need a replacement for your wood fireplace. Gas inserts operate on gas, unlike wood fireplaces. In the case of gas inserts, the burning material is placed inside a metal box which is surrounded by a bigger metal box.
Gas inserts are a great option for homeowners who want to switch for wood fireplaces into gas fireplaces, making the heating system more efficient and manageable. These are more efficient as compare to wood fireplaces as well as gas logs because they produce warmer air and more radiant heat. They heat the entire area quicker than gas logs.
These also come in vented and vent-free option. Most likely, there needs to be a chimney before installing a gas insert.
When it comes to price, they are expensive than gas logs but cheaper than gas fireplaces. However, gas inserts are a good one-time investment as they use lesser gas than that of gas logs.
Gas fireplaces are very much similar to gas inserts. The only difference is that gas fireplaces operate without an already existing chimney or fireplace. They can be installed where there was no fireplace before without the need of having a chimney. That means if you do not have a fireplace and a chimney already, these built-in gas fireplaces are the only option you have to set up a gas heating system.
Gas fireplaces usually use modern venting system where the fumes such as carbon monoxide and other chemicals are exhausted out through an exterior opening straight out of the wall without needing to have a chimney.
Comparatively, gas fireplaces are the most expensive as compared to gas logs and gas inserts. However, the best thing about built-in gas fireplaces is that they can be fit anywhere in your house and do not restrict you to the already built fireplace area. Also, they produce more heat than that of any other heating option you use.
If you need aesthetics along with heat, they are equally appealing and attractive to look at. Also, they use even lesser gas than that of gas inserts. So if you invest one time, it is going to stay economical for the rest of your life.
Which one is the right gas fireplace for you?
Choosing the right kind of gas fireplace for your house can be a tricky task. The main point of difference you can use to choose one is whether your house already has a chimney and fireplace or not. If it already has a chimney and fireplace built in, gas logs and gas inserts are the two options you can consider. Out of these two, look what you require more: heat or aesthetics? If you want more heat, choose gas inserts. But if aesthetics are your priority, choose gas logs. Budget is another thing you will need to consider here.
On the other hand, if your house does not have an already built chimney and fireplace, go for gas fireplace. It is an expensive yet most affordable option as getting a chimney and fireplace constructed can cost you ten times more than installing a gas fireplace. Also, if you have a bigger area to heat up, a gas fireplace is the only efficient option to deliver according to your heating requirements.
How much efficient is a gas fireplace?
The gas fireplace is extraordinarily efficient when we talk about performance. They keep the homes clean as they do not pollute indoor air hence maintaining the quality. For all the people who are very conscious of saving energy and environment, a gas fireplace is the most efficient option.
When we talk about cost and investment, a gas fireplace is efficient in this area as well. Even though they are expensive, but that has to be for the first time only. For all the years to come, you do not have to worry about the utility bills as they use very less gas.
Gas fireplaces are highly efficient and can heat an area to 1000 square feet at a relatively lower cost than any other heat source. At less than 40,000 BTU, it generates enough heat to warm the entire living space. They also come with the option of going down on from higher to lower thermal units if you want your gas fireplace to consume even lesser gas. Overall, it takes even less than $1 per hour to operate your gas fireplace.
When it comes to maintenance, a gas fireplace is very easy and efficient to maintain. It needs to be serviced once a year. Make sure you get the service from a pro who inspects and cleans the burner, fan, venting, thermostat, pilot light as well as glass.
So if you own a big house, a gas fireplace is very much efficient in terms of cost, performance, and maintenance.
Can you put a gas fireplace on an interior wall?
Yes, a gas fireplace can be put on an interior wall. Gone are the times when a fireplace could be installed on an exterior wall only. In older times, fireplaces could be installed on exterior walls only as they needed outside air for exhaust and combustion. Today’s gas fireplaces are innovated ones. They can be installed in direct contact even with combustible walls. Their inner and outer shell construction result in maximum heat insulation. This is done through power venting technology.
Under this, slim venting is done in the interior wall of the house on which you want to put a gas fireplace. Using slim venting, the lines are laid in the wall that starts at the fireplace and end at ant termination point on the external wall, putting no hindrance in combustion and exhaustion.
Power venting technology uses sleek-fan powered accessories that make the process very efficient and easier, ensuring zero pollution indoors.
This means that a gas fireplace can be installed anywhere in your home, be it a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, or even basement. The only requirement is the working gas connection. Usually, gas fireplace on interior walls is shielded by tempered o ceramic glass. This adds more to the performance of a gas fireplace.
Moreover, it gives an equally traditional and fine look like that of fireplaces on an exterior wall. Due to this very reason, gas fireplaces are ruling the market when it comes to the efficient and most suitable heating system for houses. Their ease of use and convenient installation lets them be put on an interior wall very easily.
Do gas fireplaces use a lot of gas?
Gas fireplace runs on gas supply. This gas supply can either be natural gas or propane gas, commonly known as LPG. Gas fireplaces start with the help of a pilot light which ignites the gas and creates fire.
Thankfully, this process does not require a lot of energy or money. Gas fireplaces are the most efficient means of saving energy and money as they do not use a lot of gas. Coming at expensive rates does not mean that the utility bills are going to be high as well.
The use of gas by a gas fireplace depends on BTU. British Thermal Unit (BTU) is the unit of heat which measures the amount of energy/fuel to be consumed by the appliance. An average sized room takes 20,000 BTU to warm up an average size room. To heat a large size living space, 40,000 BTU is more than enough. 20,000 BTU costs $0.2 per hour on an average, and similarly, 40,000 BTU will cost $0.5 per hour on an average or even less depending on the area you live in.
As the cost is less, it means a lot of gas is not consumed. This makes the gas fireplaces highly energy saving and cost-effective.
How do I convert my fireplace to gas?
Converting your fireplace into gas is not a difficult task. However, it needs professional assistance to do the job. There is a need to install some necessary components to convert wood fireplace into gas, and only professionals can do the job. In case of a masonry fireplace, it can be easily converted into gas logs or gas inserts. It makes the fireplace more efficient and easy to use.
Before you start converting the fireplace, inspect the area carefully. If the fireplace shows any signs of eroding walls, it must be repaired before working on the fireplace conversion. After this, you can check whether the fireplace needs venting or not. In the case of a gas fireplace, it is good to check that the existing chimney is functioning properly and is cleaned.
After this, a gas supply near the fireplace is structured properly by the professional.
The next task is to choose whether you want to have gas logs or gas inserts in place of a wood fireplace. Both of these are designed to fit right into your existing wood fireplace. Make sure you are hiring a pro for this purpose as a little thing gone wrong can be a cause of big problem later on.
Overall, the conversion is easy and not very time taking the task. It can even be completed within a day if all the necessary equipment is present and a professional is on duty.
How much does a gas fireplace cost?
A gas fireplace costs expensive when you buy and get it installed. However, once installed, you do not need to spend much on the cost of gas. Cost of the gas fireplace depends on a number of factors such as:
If you get a brand new gas fireplace from some high-end brand, it is going to cost you more. If you get it from some average brand, the price will be cut down. However, it is advised to get your gas fireplace from a well-reputed company which offers a warranty, so you have someone to loom up to if something goes wrong.
Your living area:
The area you live in also contributes to the cost of a gas fireplace. If you live in a moderate area where fireplaces are not in much demand, the cost is average. If you live in a colder area, the cost is going to be high due to high demand.
The cost of gas fireplace fluctuates as per the season of the year. In winters, the costs go high as everyone is looking to get a fireplace installed, changed, or serviced. However, if you plan to get your fireplace in springs or summers, you can highly benefit at the cost end.
It also depends on the fuel you are using as a gas source for your gas fireplace. The cost of different types of fuels vary. The two common gas sources are natural gas or propane/LP gas. LPG costs more than natural gas. LPG costs around $3 per gallon, which is enough to operate your gas fireplace for an hour or so. Comparatively, natural gas costs $1 per hour for an average sized living room. LPG is used when you do not have a natural gas connection in your home.
Installation cost also varies from place to place. So this also has to add up to the total cost of installing your gas fireplace.
On average, a gas fireplace costs between $4,500 and $8,000. The rest depends on you, whether you decrease or increase the overall cost.
Is installing a gas fireplace easy?
Installing a gas fireplace is relatively easy than installing gas logs or gas inserts. As gas fireplace does not need a chimney, a lot of construction time is saved. All the modern direct vent gas fireplaces do not require chimney construction.
Gas fireplaces are directly installed, and the vent is built directly through the wall to outdoor using a dual-chambered pipe. What a gas fireplace only needs is natural gas or liquid propane supply. Anywhere you have it in your house; you can get the gas fireplace installed.
Installing a gas fireplace is only a matter of a few hours if the installers are professional. The only thing to ensure is that venting is done properly not to let any harmful fumes or chemicals pollute the indoor air.
Therefore, with minimal construction and no other requirements, a gas fireplace is very easy to install.
What is the best time to get a gas fireplace installed?
The best time to get a gas fireplace installed is certainly summers. Many people look forward to summers to get a gas fireplace installed, so they have their fireplace ready right when the first frosty night hits. There are several other advantages to get a fireplace installed in summers:
- The costs can even be around 50% less than what you get in winters.
- You have more time to spend on finding the best fireplace that fits the décor of your house.
- The installers are easily available.
- The installation costs are very less.
- It takes less time to get the seals fit as the weather is dry and not moist.
- Your gas fireplace is new and ready to work when winters knock the door.
All of these reasons make summers the pretty best season to get a gas fireplace installed. You are saved from a lot of hassle as well as extra cost you have to pay just because its winters and fireplaces are in high demand.
What are the advantages of using a gas fireplace over a wood fireplace?
Using a gas fireplace instead of a wood fireplace has several advantages. Not only it comes at a lesser cost but also gives better performance and durability. Following are some of the most significant advantages of using a gas fireplace:
Wood needs to be in a greater amount to make sure the fireplace keeps burning the entire day and night. If it costs $3000 monthly to use your wood fireplace, it takes only $1,000 to make your gas fireplace work. This clear difference in cost is the main reason gas fireplace is preferred over the wood fireplace.
With a gas fireplace, you can have more control over the heat output. When you feel like the room is warm enough, you can easily turn the gas fireplace off.
Also, the gas fireplace comes with an easy start. It only needs a button to be ignited on. This saves time and provides ease of use. On the other hand, wood fireplace takes some time to light the fire to produce heat and then heat to spread in the room.
The gas fireplace is overall more efficient than wood fireplace as it warms up the bigger area in lesser time. In big rooms and living spaces, wood fireplaces are of no use. Gas fireplaces are the only option that can work there.
Gas fireplaces are easy to install. There is no need for construction of chimney for gas fireplaces. This saves a lot of costs as well as time.
Gas fireplaces are very easy to maintain. To make sure that they perform efficiently, gas fireplaces must be serviced by professional once a year. When all cleaned and set, it is as new as it was when you bought it. Also, there are few chances of damage and disruption. On the other hand, wood fireplaces can cause erosion in the walls of the fireplace. The soot in the fireplace can erode its color too. It is difficult to clean and maintain, and often needs repairing.
Overall, gas fireplaces are a lot better option and come with many advantages as compared to wood fireplaces. It is a wise decision to spend on gas fireplace rather than continuing with the same old and traditional wood fireplaces.
Are fumes from gas fireplace harmful?
Comparatively, gas fireplaces are cleaner and better than traditional wood fireplaces. However, they are not 100% clean. Their efficiency and ability to give out clean air highly depends on their venting. If they are not vented properly, they can highly pollute indoor air with its fumes.
When it comes to the fumes, obviously they are harmful. Fumes contain different deadly carbon and nitrogen gases such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, respectively. When both of these gases combine, fumes can be a lot more harmful.
These fumes are dangerous for asthma patients and can cause many breathing problems. These can also irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. Also, they can cause fatigue, nausea, and dizziness. If there is a high rate of fumes emitting from gas fireplace due to venting issues, it can cause mental stress, vomiting, and even death.
As fumes are a product of combustion, they can lead to several other deadly diseases such as chronic bronchitis and lung problems.
To save from these harmful fumes, it is advised to take care of your gas fireplace. It is good to install a carbon monoxide detector that lets you know when the percentage in the air is increasing so you can check up with your vent. Some regular solutions include seasonal inspection and proper maintenance of your fireplace.
If all of these aspects are taken care of, there is no chance that fumes can result to be very harmful to you.
What are the signs of carbon entering your home?
Gas fireplaces emit gases, chemicals, and fumes that contain carbon in a high and deadly proportion. There are several signs that you can observe to get to know when the carbon is entering your home and polluting indoor air more than normal.
Some of the signs that indicate potential problems and diseases to spread include:
- Walls and places around the fireplace are covered with black sooty marks.
- The gas source is not giving out the blue flame but yellow or orange.
- Windows and walls have more moisture than normal.
- Bricks at the top of chimney are losing their color.
- Chimney flue has a lot of rust on it.
- Smoke enters your home whenever it gets a chance due to the faulty flue.
If any of these signs are observed, it is time to take preventive measures to make sure you are not breathing in polluted air.
What can you do to prevent exposure to harmful carbon gases?
The most harmful carbon gas that emits from fireplaces is carbon monoxide. As it is colorless and odorless, we can never figure out when it is around, Therefore, it is better to take precautionary steps and preventive measures beforehand to not fall prey to diseases caused by this harmful gas.
Some of the important steps are:
- Ventilation of the house should be great. Proper ventilation avoids carbon monoxide to build up in the house.
- Flue inside the chimney must be insulated. It prevents and limits the amount of condensation in the flue.
- Make sure the fuel source is being completely utilized and is not wasted into the air.
- Chimney or any exterior termination point should be regularly checked by professional chimney sweepers to clean all the dirt and debris in the chimney. It paves the way for carbon monoxide as well as other harmful gases to move outside.
- Make sure there is no blockage in the chimney.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector to observe the proportion of gas in the air.
All of these steps and measures can highly help in preventing exposure to harmful monoxide gases in your indoor air. It ensures that you are breathing in a purified air and gas fireplace are not harmful.
Is a gas fireplace better than an electric fireplace?
Gas fireplaces are certainly better than wood fireplaces, but when it comes to electric fireplaces, several things need to be observed.
Electric fireplaces are easier to install than a gas fireplace. They are just like any other a=electric appliance that can be hanged on the wall and plugged into the switch. On the other hand, gas fireplaces must be properly vented to make sure the gas fumes and harmful chemical do not gather in the room and pollute the air. Also, installing an electric fireplace takes less time and money than a gas fireplace.
Gas fireplaces heat up completely on the inside and out. They are dangerous to touch and pose a safety hazard. Electric fireplaces are made up of material that cannot transmit heat. In this way, they do not heat up and still provide enough heat for up to several hundred square feet.
When it comes to performance, a gas fireplace is a winner as it produces real-time flames to heat the area. The artificial heat from an electric fireplace is not that much efficient as is the heat produced by real flames. Operating on gas, gas fireplace heats the area quicker than an electric fireplace.
Cost of these fireplaces depends upon the cost of fuel in the area. In some area, electricity is expensive than gas while in other areas, gas costs more. You can choose the type of fireplace, keeping in view the cost of fuel in your area.
Style and design
When we talk about the outlook, a huge variety of fireplaces, both gas, and electric, is available in the market. You can find the one that matches your home décor and adds more to the beauty of your living space. They are available in a vast range of styles and designs to help you pick up the most suitable one.
Overall, an electric fireplace is better than a gas fireplace in some categories, while a gas fireplace wins in other categories. You can choose the one according to your needs and requirements.