Install a Gas Fireplace for Beauty & Warmth

Install a Gas Fireplace for Beauty & Warmth

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Is it time for you to convert your wood fireplace?

As summer ebbs and the first few cool mornings of the season begin to show up, thoughts about your heating system will certainly arise. The months of September and October are ideal times to confirm that your furnace or heat pack is working properly, something a technician can check by means of an inspection.

Gas Fireplaces

If you already have a fireplace installed and use it to burn wood, then you know that this option is ideal for heating up one or two rooms in your home. Not everyone wants or can handle a wood burning fireplace, finding the smoke to be bothersome or the heat insufficient to even handle one room. In these situations, homeowners may want to consider converting from a wood to gas fireplace, the latter a popular feature in many new homes.

Gas fireplaces are easy to operate requiring just a push of a button, usually with a remote, and enjoying the flames lighting immediately. No chopping and hauling wood. No cleaning ashes from the fireplace. And certainly no problem with dust and ashes in your rooms.

Gas fireplaces use natural gas and therefore do not require electricity. These units have a pilot light which almost always stays lit. When the light does burn out, you can quickly and safely relight it with a match and then turn your fireplace on. Of course, follow the instructions that come with your gas fireplace for proper lighting procedures.

Energy Ratings

Like all major appliances, gas fireplaces are energy rated. Consumers who bought a gas fireplace 10 to 15 years ago may be surprised to learn how inefficient their old unit is. Once you determine how efficient a new unit can be, you may want to replace your current gas fireplace, especially if you rely on it as a significant source of heat for your home.

Many condo owners make good use of gas fireplaces, finding these to be the best option on days when it is cool enough to need some heat, but not cold enough to turn up the furnace to heat up the entire condo. Your unit’s layout will make a difference too as an open floor plan may or may not be conducive to heating your place. Yes, square footage matters!

Fixed Units

Gas fireplaces are fixed in place, thus you cannot move it around as you might a kerosene stove or with an electric radiator. Fans help to move air around and may need maintenance after several years of regular use.

Your heating utility company may offer gas fireplaces as a service to its customers. Popular are units which are essentially a cluster of simulated logs that produce heat. For example, you can order a unit with a 13-log set that comes with special ceramic bead material to provide a maximum ember effect. These millivolt systems work with manual controls, a remote or by thermostat. You can also choose a mantle in a style that adds a special look to your room.

Energy Savings

How much can you save in energy costs by using a gas fireplace? That is hard to say. Your utility company may have data to share or the retailer. Much depends on your energy habits and whether you are looking for a gas fireplace to supplement your current heating system or replace it at least on those cool fall and spring mornings when a burst of heat would be most welcome.

With a stylish mantle as part of the package, your gas fireplace will be the talk of your family and receive the admiration of friends and neighbors alike. It could also prove to be a valuable selling point for most any home, some things to consider as you get estimates from vendors.

See AlsoLiving Room Fireplace | Den Room Fireplace

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Categories: Fireplace

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".