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Gas Fireplace Inserts Southern MD

Gas Fireplace Inserts

Gas Fireplace InsertsWhen you announce to your family that you are considering dumping the wood burning function of your fireplace and converting to a gas insert, you may get some objections.  For many, wood crackling in the firebox is the only truly natural kind of fireplace there is.  But after you have fought back embers spitting out and burning your carpet or walking around in three feet of snow to get more fire from the stack or discovering your wood supply full of termites, the appeal of a gas fueled fireplace begins to increase.

Having a gas insert installed in your firebox is a big step and you should be aware of the advantages you will realize as well and the negatives.  One negative is the cost.  While you will be reinventing your firebox so you get to keep using your fireplace for the basic function of fires, a gas insert can be a costly installation.  A gas source will have to be found and piping created to move a stream to your firebox.  And you don’t want that to be obvious so the connecting pipes will have to be put into the wall or ceiling so they are not obvious. 

Within the firebox, you will need a pipe to bring the gas to the fire and another system to take the fumes away, probably up the chimney.  This system has to be 100% reliable because if the fumes coming off the fire do not escape the house well, they can be dangerous to your family and guests.  Gas fumes are not noticeable so they can increase the carbon monoxide content of your air without you noticing it.  So you must have a system to carry them up the chimney and out into the air that you can depend on year after year.

Also, once you make the conversion to using gas as a fuel for your fires, you really cannot “go back.”  It would not be good for your gas insert if you decided to burn wood in that insert for a night.  The soot would clog up the gas openings and the uncontrolled flames could damage the housing of the insert.  Furthermore, because you will be retrofitting your chimney system to accommodate the gas insert, a wood fire would not vent properly leading to a smoke filled house.  So you must be sure you will never want a wood fire in your indoor fireplace again.

However, putting a gas insert in place is far more efficient than wood fires.  The heat is captured and funneled so you can use it and guide it to where you want it to go.  Many gas inserts have fans to get the heat out of the box to the room where you and your family or guests are so much more of the warmth of your fire will actually be enjoyed and benefit your home.  And because gas inserts commonly come with glass doors, you can seal off the fire so it is safe from children or pets “accidentally” getting into it. 

At the same time a gas fireplace does burn flames and gas logs and create the look and feel of a fireplace beautifully.  It can burn for hours and never need attention and when its time to stop the fire, you just turn it off and its gone.  No clean up, no smoke, no termites in the woodpile.  These are some pretty convincing reasons to look into moving toward a gas insert for your fireplace sometime soon.