Changing wood fireplaces into Gas Fireplaces

  Whether you just moved into a home in Washington DC with a wood-burning fireplace or you’re looking to modernize your fireplace in a house that you have owned for years, it might be time to explore the options to convert it into a gas fireplace.  A professional chimney sweep company like ours can assist you.  In this article, you will learn more about the available options for converting your wood-burning fireplace into an energy-efficient gas fireplace. There are quite a few options to consider.

How will gas reach your fireplace?

You have to consider how the gas will reach your fireplace. If you have natural gas at your home, you can have a gas line run to the fireplace. If you don’t have natural gas and do not want to have it run, then your option is to use a propane tank. Either will work, so it’s a preference based on what you already have at your home.

Gas Fireplace Kit

A gas fireplace kit is something that is relatively simple to install. The damper is locked into a partially open position, which has pros and cons. It means that no one can forget to open the vent, so you won’t have to worry about carbon monoxide threatening your home.  However, you will lose some of the heat. Tight-fitting glass doors can be installed to help counteract that problem. Some kits are more advanced than others, providing you with various features:
  • Remove controls
  • Thermostats
  • Decorative hearth
You can choose a kit that works for you and stay within your budget.  At first glance, gas fireplace kits appear to be a great low-cost option.  However, the heat loss can kill the energy efficiency of your home.

Vent-Free Gas Fireplace

You may also want to explore a vent-free gas fireplace. Your chimney would be for show from now on because no exhaust goes up the chimney. The benefit to this is that you get to have all of the heat inside of the room while still having an open fire. One thing to know is that the combustion exhaust stays inside, so you would either have to create a vent in the home or deal with the exhaust, which could be problematic of people who have asthma or allergy problems. If this is your primary heating system, you will probably want to find an alternative because it’s not recommended to run for more than three hours at a time. Many installation companies consider vent-free gas fireplaces to be dangerous. The risks presented by gas exhaust entering the home represents a potential health risk that outweighs any benefit of having the stove installed.  We do not recommend this option.

Gas Fireplace Insert

One of the best options is a gas fireplace insert. It is the more expensive option out of the three, but it also allows you to enjoy a fire without the worries present with other options. The insert goes behind closed glass doors. However, you can still see the flame and feel the warmth of your fireplace.  You won’t have an open fire, and you can leave it running for as long as you want. There are a few benefits to be aware of:
  • The look is tidy
  • Glass doors provide a good seal
  • Exhaust is piped out
  • Gas fireplace inserts energy efficient.
  • You enjoy good indoor air quality
A complete insert goes into the opening of your existing fireplace.  Only professional installers should be trusted to install gas fireplace inserts.  You may want to check out this article that describes the steps in the installation process.

Deciding the Best Gas Fireplace Option for You

Converting from a wood-burning fireplace to a gas fireplace can be a great option. There’s a convenience with gas that you don’t get out of wood. You can quickly press a button, flip a switch, or point a remote at the fireplace to get the heat going. You have to decide what’s right for your home based on cost, aesthetics, and overall function. We recommended that you work with professionals who can talk to you about the pros and cons that apply to your unique needs.  They will also help identify options for the gas lines. Take the time to explore your options so that the next fire you enjoy can be free of any problems. Making the switch from wood to gas could be the best thing you do for your home this year.

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