What do I need to know about a gas fireplace?

A gas fireplace is a flame-burning fireplace without the need of solid fuels.  With a gas fireplace, there is no need for firewood, coals or ashes.  Now, about 70% of different types of fireplaces are being made to burn gas.  Today, gas fireplaces are heat-producing and use natural gas or propane to power a steady flame.  They use fake logs, glass chips, or stones to look like a real fireplace. Here at American, we can help you discover which options will work best for your home.

Gas Fireplace - Portland OR - American Chimney & Masonry

Gas Fireplace – Portland OR – American Chimney & Masonrup to 3,000 square feet depending on how large it is and can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000.

There are two types of gas fireplaces; vented or unvented units.  Vented units are considered the safest.  They take air from the outside of the fireplace to keep the flame burning by exhausting all of the gases form combustion.  Ventless are better for heating the home, but the exhaust flames are kept inside of the fireplace so the fumes stay in the home.  However, these are considered safe because the unit includes a sensor that can tell when there is not enough oxygen and harmful levels of carbon monoxide fill the room.  Even though they are safe, some states will not allow ventless fireplaces, so be sure to check your state and building’s regulations.

 What are the pros?

As with anything there are always pros and cons to an item or situation.  One pro to a gas fireplace is that they can be vented through an existing chimney.  They also require little maintenance, usually consisting of a yearly checkup.  They also are very eco-friendly; burning with a 65% to 99% efficiency and creating no ash or creosote. A gas fireplace can be inserted into almost any room in the house. This opens up design options. Another obvious pro would be ease of use and a reduced mess. With a gas fireplace, you get heat almost immediately and do not have to build a fire.

What are the cons?

There are also cons to gas burning fireplaces.  Propane is expensive gas to use, so heating the entire house will cost quite a bit.  While gas fireplaces heat up more quickly, they also lose heat rapidly. Traditional brick fireplaces hold onto the heat longer. Wood and other fire materials will generally cost less.  Also, with the fake fire logs you won’t feel as if you’re sitting in front of a real fire. And for some homeowners, hearing the crackle and hiss of the fire is as much a joy as watching it.


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