Can a Gas Fireplace Actually Heat the Room?
Yes, when a gas fireplace is on with a flame, it emits heat. The flame inside the fireplace produces heat and modern gas units have an integrated heat exchanger. This pulls in cold air from the bottom, heats the air, and then pushes convection air out of a vent at the top of the unit. Fireplaces also emit radiant heat from the glass.
In fact, the glass front prevents heat from being lost back up the chimney. In this way, gas fireplaces are actually more efficient and better at heating your home than traditional wood-burning fireplaces. The average heat output of a gas fireplace can be between 30,000 and 50,000 BTUs, in comparison to wood fireplaces which produce 38,000 and 80,000 BTUs. An extra advantage is that gas is constant and there are no dips or changes in temperature like there are with a traditional wood-burning fireplace.
The latest models make it possible to link to the thermostat through a home automation system in order to optimize heating. This will help save energy when the HVAC unit is running and the set room temperature has been reached.
Are Gas Fireplaces Energy Efficient?
Generally, natural gas fireplaces are more efficient and cost less to run than electric fireplace options. High-efficiency natural gas fireplaces have an energy efficiency rating of up to 75%; that means that three quarters of the fuel is converted into usable heat for your home. Plus, if there is ever a power outage, many models will continue to work, making them useful in the cold Pennsylvania climate.
Does a Gas Fireplace Require a Chimney?
In most cases, no. A gas fireplace functions without the need of a chimney for ventilation. This is another advantage for homeowners because it decreases the cost of installation in existing and new homes. Plus, this offers a lot of flexibility; a fireplace can be installed even where there is not sufficient space to allow for a conventional chimney with a flue. Without the need for a chimney and the necessary clearances, gas rages have a wider range of design options, materials, and combustible surfaces.
Other models make it possible to retrofit a new gas fireplace that uses a chimney or flue that already exists in the home. Balance flue systems are another option that can be installed with a new in-take and exhaust ventilation system that goes up or out directly through the back wall of the house.
Can a Gas Unit be Installed in a Traditional Fireplace?
Yes! If you are thinking of converting a wood-burning fireplace, a natural gas insert can be installed into the existing space as long as an approved vent liner is also installed in the chimney.
Why Are Gas Fireplaces Becoming More Popular with Homeowners?
The main thing that homeowners are looking for these days is a warm and cozy feeling. Gas fireplaces have become increasingly more popular because they are an easy and convenient way to add warmth and light to a room. Some other benefits include,
- Great looking with glass that is nearly invisible and realistic-looking fire beds.
- Energy-efficient design.
- Can be used all year-round.
- Wide range of prices, from more cost-effective options to high-end, luxury units.
- Cleaner option with no smoke, no odor, and no ash.
- Can be installed in smaller places and homes without chimneys.
- Safer than wood-burning options; no sparks.
- No need for firewood; no need to cut, purchase, haul, or store firewood.
- Easy to turn on with a switch or remote control; no need for lighters, flints, accelerators or paper.
- Low maintenance required; no need to clean the chimney or fireplace.
- Increases the value of your home.
Unlike traditional fireplace options, gas fireplaces are completely controlled by the homeowner. You can turn it on or off as you please, using a fan is optional to increase the range of heat dispersion throughout the room.
Benefits of a Gas Fireplace
Nowadays, with premium materials used in the design of gas fireplaces – like marble, stainless steel, concrete and stone – and, with the addition of accent lighting, the flame becomes a centerpiece of interior design. With a wide selection of materials, such as stones, logs, driftwood, and crystals, the fire becomes like a piece of art. Homeowners can choose the look that they want and come home to enjoy a piece of living art that enhances their space every day.
What Should I Know about Safely Using and Maintaining a Gas Fireplace?
- Be sure to read the manufacturer’s manual to learn about using and maintaining your particular model of fireplace safely.
- While natural gas is odorless, a harmless chemical is added that smells like rotten eggs. If you notice this smell, or suspect a leak, Pennsylvania residents should call 1-800-841-4141 to report an emergency natural gas leak.
- Most models are meant to produce yellow and blue flames to simulate a wood fire. But, if you notice black soot in the flame, that is a sign that it is producing carbon and should be serviced by a qualified technician.
- When the fireplace is lit, it will emit heat, so it’s important to keep children and any materials that are flammable or prone to melting at a safe distance away from the area.
- Keep the outside fireplace vent clean and clear of obstructions to ensure proper ventilation.
- To save energy, turn off the pilot light when the fireplace is not in use.
- To clean a gas fireplace, wait until the glass is completely cool. Then, use an ammonia-free glass cleaner and a non-abrasive cloth to clean the glass.
Schedule a regular check-up with a technician every few years to make sure that everything is functioning properly and prevent any dangerous gas leaks.
Call AQM for Gas Fireplace Sales, Installation & Servicing
AQM has a large selection of gas log sets, burners, and gas fireplaces that are perfect for warming up those chilly Pennsylvania nights. You can get more information about the gas fireplace that we have for sale and our certified fireplace installation and maintenance services here.