A fireplace can add a cozy warmth and charm to a room. Modern gas logs have the appearance of real wood and can last for years with no creosote buildup and no need for log splitting. For the most part, gas inserts are not very energy efficient and can pose some health risks if used improperly. You should consider all the facts carefully before converting a fireplace to a gas insert.
Clean Burning and Conveneint
Gas inserts are much cleaner, burn at the turn of a knob and are safer than a wood fire or an artificial log. It is also convenient and safer to have the ability to extinguish the fire at a desired time rather than allowing it to smolder through the night.
Aroma and Sound
While they are more convenient, gas inserts do not offer the distinct aroma of a natural fire. There is also that special crackle and popping of a fire that creates a mood and feeling that a gas insert just cannot match.
Standard gas inserts are used with the fireplace damper open to remove dangerous carbon monoxide. If the damper is accidentally closed--or should the airflow be otherwise interrupted--these fumes can gather inside the home. They could cause a serious health hazard.
Burning wood or other materials is far messier than gas inserts as you will need to occasionally clean out the soot and ash from the fireplace. You will also need to have your chimney inspected and cleaned as creosote will build up over time and create a fire hazard.
Gas inserts are easier, cleaner and somewhat safer than other fire types. If you are cutting your own wood, a wood fire can be more economical and offers pleasantries such as smell and sound. Neither is energy efficient, but both can add a special glow that will warm a room.
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