No fuss, no muss – a convenient choice
Modern gas fireplaces are an increasingly attractive hearth option for most homeowners. There are a wide variety of styles, ranging from sleek, modern and sophisticated to quaint old-fashioned or traditional designs. They have the charm of a 'real' wood-burning fireplace along with the convenience of natural gas or propane. Gas fireplace mantels in oak, cherry and other fine woods are also available to complement your gas fireplace.
The most attractive characteristic of a gas fireplace is its "instant-on" ability. There are those who love the experience of chopping kindling, building a small pile on some paper, and painstakingly lighting a wood fire – but for the rest of us, an instantly warm gas fireplace allows the enjoyment of dancing flames on our own schedule.
Gas logs are gas fireplace inserts that burn brightly through glass fireplace doors or screens. These inserts can be turned on and off just as quickly and easily as a complete gas fireplace, and they allow the use of your existing fireplace with minimal modification. Most gas fireplaces require electricity in order to automatically ignite. However, many come with the ability to manually start the fire with a match or other source of ignition in case of power outages. Although such operation comes with greater risks, it can be a lifesaver in a power outage or emergency scenario. Gas fireplaces are available for recessed or wall mounted installation, which means that they can be installed as a retrofit in a traditional fireplace enclosure, or in some cases even installed ON a wall with minimal penetration. This can be extremely important in some applications, such as apartment installations where space is at a premium, and cutting large chunks out of walls may not be an acceptable option. Gas fireplaces are so small and modular that some are even approved for installation in mobile homes.
Gas fireplaces are available in either vented or ventless models. Vented models use either a traditional chimney/flue or else a purpose-built vent pipe, while ventless models would be more accurately termed "room-vented". They require no special venting, which means that they can be installed in apartments or other locations where outside ventilation simply isn't a choice. As well, since there are no hot gases escaping through the chimney, maximum heat radiates into the room. Conversely, any gases which are released go into the room in which the fireplace is located, which makes ventless fireplaces a questionable choice for some extremely airtight homes. However, ventless fireplaces are completely safe and healthy as long as your home has adequate air exchange in place – ask your installer if you have any questions about your home's air-replacement ability.
While wood burning fireplaces and stoves require more stringent guidelines to protect chimneys and stovepipes from rogue flames, gas-burning fireplaces and stoves are far more flexible and can be placed on nearly any wall or in the center of a room. Still, it's a good idea to contact a Specialized Certified Retailer for installation and inspection. Bookmark this page and make Fireplacesandwoodstoves.com your first resource for finding high quality gas fireplaces.