Everything You Need to Know About Gas Fireplaces
Twin City Fireplace & Stone is Minnesota's premier fireplace and masonry chimney expert. As experts in sales and installations, we get plenty of questions regarding which type of fireplace is best. Many customers are curious about gas fireplaces, so let's look at them in detail and how they compare to their wood-burning counterparts.
What is a Gas Fireplace & How Does it Work?
Fireplaces have been a staple in homes for as long as anyone can remember, but traditionally, they've mostly burned wood as fuel. Many people are nostalgic for wood-burning fireplaces because of their ambiance, tradition, crackling sounds, and aromas that are unlike anything else. Despite that, however, gas fireplaces are growing in popularity.
As you can guess, these fireplaces burn natural gas or propane instead of wood and typically feature incombustible logs covering the gas vents.
These logs are more decorative than functional, and give homeowners the look and feel of a traditional fireplace without the drawbacks.
Reasons to Choose a Gas Fireplace
While there's no concrete data, we've observed a considerable uptick in the number of people interested in and purchasing gas fireplaces, and there are many reasons for this.
One of the most common reasons people give when they express interest in a gas fireplace is how much more convenient they are to use than traditional wood-burning fireplaces. Gas provides instant heat with the touch of a button, and many models give you a remote control, so you can operate the system from the couch. When you install a gas fireplace, gone are the days of struggling to light the wood and keep it lit for an evening. You can simply flick on the fireplace and kick back and relax.
Another convenience of owning a gas fireplace is that you can adjust the heat output, something that's difficult, if not impossible, to do accurately with wood. Gas fireplaces have a thermostat, so you can easily dial it up or down to control the warmth.
Finally, there's no wood to gather, store, and carry into the house.
Gas fireplaces are also more cost-effective than wood-burning models because there's no wood to buy and store, and gas is relatively inexpensive in most parts of the country. Moreover, wood-burning fireplaces produce significant amounts of smoke, leading to creosote buildup in your flue. Creosote is a primary cause of chimney fires and must be cleaned out regularly by a trained professional. Gas, however, burns much cleaner, and you won't spend nearly as much on cleaning services as you do with wood.
Another reason people are turning to gas fireplaces is the safety factor. According to the EPA, The National Fire Protection Association estimates that in 2011, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 53,600 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 400 civilian deaths, 1,520 civilian injuries, and $893 million in direct property damage. The leading factor contributing to home heat in fires was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid-ruled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
As mentioned, gas burns cleaner than wood, with little to no creosote buildup in the chimney. Moreover, it's not uncommon for wood fireplaces to spit out embers and sparks into the house, which can ignite furniture, carpet, or flammable objects nearby, something you don't have to worry about with gas.
How Gas Fireplaces Compare to Wood for Heating Efficiency
In the battle between gas and wood fireplaces regarding heating efficiency, it's no contest; gas wins every time. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, gas fire-places have an efficiency rating of 70-90%, while wood-burning fireplaces have a rat-ing of about 10%. That means that with a wood-burning fireplace, you lose up to 90% of the heat up the chimney. Moreover, we have gas fireplaces equipped with blowers, which allow them to distribute heat more evenly through the room.
Can I Replace My Wood Fireplace With Gas?
Yes. Once people discover how much more convenient gas fireplaces are and how much cheaper they are, many want to convert their old wood-burning fireplaces. Typically, we can remove the wood-burning components, like the firebox, damper, and chimney liner, and install a gas insert into the existing fireplace.
Let Us Go To Work For You
If you're interested in a gas fireplace, you've come to the right place. Twin City Fireplace & Stone Company is family-owned, and we're committed to giving our customers an outstanding experience from start to finish. There's never been a hearth or masonry project we couldn't work with, and we're confident we can help you.
We specialize in the sales, service, and installation of gas and wood fireplaces for indoor and outdoor living spaces and provide the highest quality brick and stone installation, construction, and design. We’re licensed general contractors, gas fitters, and skilled masons, so you can trust that our work will provide lasting value to your home for many years. Please don't hesitate to visit us at either of our beautiful showrooms in Edina and Woodbury, or call us to book an appointment.
In Edina, call 952-209-8518. In Woodbury, call 651-360-1237.