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How Can You Convert A Wood Fireplace To A Gas Fireplace?

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How Can You Convert A Wood Fireplace To A Gas Fireplace?

People love fireplaces in their homes. They generally make a home more marketable even in warmer climates. Living rooms with fireplaces give a homey feeling to people looking to buy the house. Some like both wood-burning and gas fireplaces, but others prefer gas to wood. If you are someone who wants a gas fireplace, you can purchase a home with a wood-burning. Just same extra funds to convert the wood-burning to gas.

Why do people prefer gas?

1. Convenience

It is easier to flip a switch and have the gas fireplace light. You don’t have to worry about getting the firewood, kindling and paper. You don’t have worry about what to do if it doesn’t start. Although some gas fireplaces have a turnkey and not a switch, it still is easier than building a fire the old-fashioned way.

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2. No mess

Wood-burning fireplaces create a mess. They get ashes and soot in your living room that you will have to clean on a regular basis. You also have to pick up bark and pieces of wood from the floor when you are bringing in the wood from outside the house. These get into your carpet and dirty your carpet. Gas fireplaces don’t require wood, so you don’t have the mess with ashes or wood chips. However, you will have to clean the mantle and walls after you use your fireplace.

3. Less expensive in many cases

Although there are instances where it would be cheaper to use a firewood-burning fireplace, generally, gas fireplaces are cheaper to run. They do use gas and will increase your household heat bill, but they aren’t that much extra. If you use only the gas fireplace and not the heat, such as in late spring or early fall, you will not have to pay a lot for the gas usage. Most people with wood-burning fireplaces have to purchase the wood. This can be costly. If you live in a mountain or a wooded area, you might be able to feed your fireplace without spending money. In this case, the wood might be cheaper.

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4. No warmth

According to the Energy Department, a wood-burning fireplace brings in as warm, inside air, but it goes up the chimney.

5. Less hard to breathe

If you’re using a traditional wood fire, you are being exposed to toxic byproducts, such as respiratory irritants, carcinogens and deadly carbon monoxide. The Environmental Protection Agency warns of other health dangers, namely asthma, reproductive issues and birth defects.

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6. Less air pollution

Wood smoke is a large contributor to air pollution. Sometimes, cities will ban fireplace burning if the air quality is low.

7. Dangers to the home

Your house is in danger should the creosote, a tarry byproduct of wood smoke, ignite in your chimney. Chimney fires are the cause of over 25,000 house fires a year.

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What do you need to convert the fireplace?

To make the conversion, you need vented gas logs and a gas fireplace insert. These are important to make sure the new fireplace works the way it should. Because gas fireplace inserts function as heaters, they give off significantly more warmth than wood-burning fireplaces. When you use vented gas logs; you can buy the ones that allow you to adjust the flames. In this case, you would reduce how much heat you want or how much you don’t want. They can be quite energy efficient,

You want to avoid using vent-free logs. Unvented gas logs are not recommended because they release air from the fireplace back into the room with no exterior ventilation, potentially causing serious health problems, and they are banned in many areas. Even though gas fireplaces do not produce smoke, they still create pollutants, including carbon monoxide, making venting essential.

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Keep safety in mind when converting

This is not a project you want to take on yourself. You should hire professionals who will understand the pitfalls during conversion. They will know the procedure and how to keep your home safe. A heating, ventilation and air conditioning professional will make sure your gas is feeding the fireplace correctly and not letting harmful gases into your space. You’ll also need to deal with a construction company and a structural engineer who will ensure the chimney and fireplace doesn’t harm other parts of the home. They all will make sure they keep you safe, the workers safe and the home safe.
Find three companies and get quotes. Work with the company that makes you feel the most comfortable. After all, it’s your home. You have to live with the result and live in the home during construction. Look for reviews for the company you choose. Go with the one that has the best reputation and history of doing these projects.

Featured photo credit: Convert a wood fireplace into a gas fireplace via google.com

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