Nothing compares to the warmth, tradition, and comfort of a wood-burning fireplace…or does it? While it was once the only fuel source option for fireplaces, most people know that fireplaces can run on all sorts of fuels these days. Electricity is one option—but one that can add up in terms of cost due to the high cost of using electricity to generate heat. That leads many to turn to an option already used to power most heaters: natural gas.
If you’re considering converting your fireplace to one that runs on natural gas, there are things you should know first. For more information, feel free to contact our friendly team any time, or visit our Napoleon fireplace showroom!
Is It Worth It to Convert to Natural Gas?
This is a question only you can truly answer.
Most people decide to convert to a natural gas fireplace for reasons of convenience. For all the work involved in stacking and storing wood, building the fire, and cleaning up the ash, many people feel it’s just not worth it when modern conveniences can do just as well.
In fact, wood fireplaces are inadvisable for some other reasons as well. They are inefficient for truly heating the room, taking some of the warm air from the home created by a furnace or boiler and sending it right up the chimney. In addition, chimneys have a higher chance of catching fire with the high level of creosote buildup from gas fireplaces. Yikes!
Gas Log Kits
If you’ve decided to make the switch, you may look into gas log kits. These are gas-operated logs designed to look like the logs used in a wood-burning fireplace. This can be a nice solution, but it does have a couple of downsides.
First, in order to use gas logs, you need to keep the damper open at all times (so that no one ever accidentally lights the fire without it, a dangerous situation. That means a lot of energy waste throughout winter, unless you install tight-fitting glass doors for a higher cost.
All in all, though, this can be a nice option if you want the look of a wood-burning fire, although without so much heat.
Vent-free gas fireplaces have several advantages, including their low cost. They don’t vent outside which means there is very little heat loss. However, you should keep in mind that you are letting exhaust and moisture into the home, something that can be dangerous for long periods and harmful for people with asthma or allergies.
Gas Fireplace Inserts
Usually, we recommend a gas fireplace insert as a permanent solution for people looking to upgrade to a natural gas fireplace. A gas fireplace will go directly into the fireplace and will completely transform the look and function of your fireplace, which means a high price tag to go along with it.
However, the results are worth it! It’s a highly efficient closed system, one that allows you total control over the heat output. It’s also a safe and healthy option, with a sealed chamber and no worries.
Get your new gas fireplace installation in St. Paul, MN from the pros at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc.