It’s true that nothing is more comforting on a winter night than huddling up in front of a fireplace. In fact, fireplaces have long kept a special place in the hearts of many people. Fireplaces are tremendously well-liked that it’s become hard to sell new or existing homes without one. But with the changes in the way houses are made and revamped these days, most modern homes today have become contradictory with standard wood-burning fireplaces.
And if you might noticed today, the escalated insulation and enhanced air tightness of modern homes move along counter to the vast amounts of air needed by conventional wood-burning fireplaces. Such fireplaces have become exceptionally ineffective and generate high levels of damaging emissions, which in turn pollute outdoor air and can have harmful effects on indoor air quality. But in spite of these harmful effects, everyone still wants a fireplace. Fortunately, there are already new fireplace designs available in the market today. They offer a safe, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional wood fireplaces. Aside from the advanced combustion wood-burning fireplace, a prominent option among many is a well-designed and energy-efficient gas place.
For the past years, gas fireplaces have gained increased popularity among homeowners. It carries with it many benefits that made it all the rage over wood fireplaces. Here are some of its benefits:
No more hassles and mess in getting wood anymore.Wood pieces all over the hearth and floor as it is carried havebeen one of the biggest complaints for wood burning fireplaces. With a gas fireplace, you simply have to push a button and the fire ignites.
It’s the easiest way to get instant fire. During cold and rainy seasons, the convenience of simply pushing the button can immediately give you the warmth you need for your room. Gone are the days when you have to go out to get some wood because you run out of stock.
No chimney fires. If the chimney is neglected or not cared for properly, it can incept chimney fires caused by the residue from burning wood fires. With a gas fireplace, you only have clean gas to burn and you’ll save money on low maintenance on a gas fire.
You get instant heat. Although a wood fireplace is much effective in throwing off as much heat, a gas fireplace installed with a “heatilator” still heat a small room. And that’s done with just a push of a button.
You can turn off a gas fireplace. Unlike the conventional wood fireplace that needs wood fire to smolder during the night, you can easily push that button again to turn off the gas fireplace. This is actually more safe-effective.
No need to clean the chimney. Since the gas fireplace does not produce any wood residue, chimney cleaning is eliminated. This means less work for you.
It is safer. Because of the safety of sealed combustion units, it offers little chance for toxic combustion gases to spill into the room.
What to Look For
Although gas fireplaces have been around for years, a great deal of effort has gone into making excellent gas fireplaces. Some great units sold in the market offer an appealingly attractive flame which are very proficient and can save energy in your home. Here are some things you should know when shopping for a gas fireplace.
3 Types of Gas Fireplaces
There are three basic types of gas fireplaces available in the market: inserts, factory-built fireplaces (zero-clearance units) and freestanding designs. The daunting part of the shopping will be sorting though the vast array of models available to choose a unit that is as proficient as possible and the one that can best match you needs.
Inserts are utilized to transform existing wood-burning masonry or factory-built metal fireplaces to gas. The gas burner and replicated logs are bounded in a distinctive metal housing that tailors into the existing fireplace cavity. The unit is composed of a glass front for viewing and a ornamental metal trim. Present chimneys must be relined with a permitted vent when a gas insert is attached.
Zero-clearance gas fireplaces are utilized in installations where there is no present fireplace like in new home construction or a renovation project. With this type of gas fireplace, the replicated logs and burner are contained inside their own firebox, around which is an inner and outer shell. This type of fireplace can be put in inside the house envelope, even against an outside wall.
Free-standing gas fireplaces on the other hand characteristically look a lot like some of the new wood-burning stoves. Such units are known to be more proficient in giving off heat to the house. It’s due to the exposure of the entire fireplace’s surface to the room. The glass fronts utilized on all of these gas fireplaces can be assembled from hardened or ceramic glass since such material is somewhat better at transferring infrared heat into the room.
Gas Fireplace Safety Tips
If you have a gas fireplace in your home, it is only right that you enjoy its benefits especially the warm and light it can give to a room. It may cause harm but you can always follow safety tips to enjoy your gas fireplace safely. Here are some handy tips that you can follow:
To avoid burns, let the gas fireplace cool for at least 45 minutes after turning it off. The appliance and glass panel may cause burns when not cooled so make sure to not let your children near the fireplace without supervision.
It is recommended to have a physical barrier such as a fireplace safety screen or safety gate especially if you have children roaming around near the gas fireplace. Although safety screens attached to the fireplace may still conduct heat, it can decrease the chance of burns in case it is accidentally touched.
Install a switch lock to avert children from turning on the gas fireplace and make sure to keep out of reach from children the gas fireplace remote control. Also, it’s important to never leave young children alone near an operating fireplace.
If you have visitors, make sure that they are notified of the burn hazard of the hot temperature of the glass panel of a gas fireplace. Discuss fireplace safety with all your guests and make certain that they should never be in contact with the glass panel of a gas fireplace.