With A Gas-Fireplace Retrofit, You Can Have All The Coziness Without The Work Or Cleanup
Love your fireplace? Hate the mess? Your wood-burning fireplace can be retrofitted as a gas fireplace. If you’re picturing wimpy blue flames flickering over a fake-looking log, think again. As more people are opting for gas, manufacturers have stepped up with energy-efficient gas fireplaces that produce robust flames and plenty of warmth.
For retrofits, you have two main options. Each can be fueled by natural gas or propane:
- Inserts. These work more efficiently and with much less hassle that wood-burning boxes, but they still produce heat.
- Log sets. These stacks of ceramic logs sit in your existing firebox, fueled by a gas burner. They’re pretty much just for looks. They don’t produce much heat for your home.
Gas fireplaces have offer a number of benefits. They’re much more energy efficient than wood fires, for one thing. Gas fires convert from 75-99 percent of the energy they consume into heat for your home. Wood fires waste about that much, converting only 10-30 percent of their fuel’s energy to heat for your home. Gas fireplaces are also easy. Instead of hauling logs and bagging ashes, you can turn the fire on and off with a remote control. You can use a wall-mounted thermostat to make the flames bigger or smaller.
Like any other piece of heating or cooling equipment, your gas fireplace should be sized specifically for your home. How much heat it produces should depend on the size of the room it’s in, the room’s ceiling height and how well your home is insulated.
As you retrofit your fireplace, you will have to decide how to vent the pollutants created by the flames. Many homeowners choose to install a two-pipe system in their existing flue — one pipe delivers air from outside to support the flames, and the other takes the exhaust (which includes carbon monoxide) straight outdoors.
Your retrofit should be performed by a professional technician. After installation, your technician should return yearly to perform maintenance (cleaning and making any necessary adjustments) on your burner to prevent sooty flames. Contact the Beyer Boysto get started.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about gas fireplaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.