Gas Fireplaces: An Excellent Alternative To Wood

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Do you own a fireplace? Do you enjoy cozy nights by the fire? Do you enjoy family game night by the fireplace? Do you like chopping and hauling all the wood needed for your fireplace? I think the answer to the last one, is a NO!

The New Traditional Hearth

Gas fireplaces are an excellent alternative to wood burning fireplaces. You can enjoy the warmth and luxury of a fire without the hassle of splitting, hauling, or stacking wood. The very fact that gas fireplaces are so low maintenance is why so many people buy them. The popularity of gas fireplaces is growing substantially, every year. The high demand for gas fireplaces has created a spike in manufacturing. Go to your local Home Depot and you’ll find free standing gas stoves, gas logs, and fireplace units that are installed into a wall.

Wood That Doesn’t Burn

With all the neat gas burning fireplaces, you’d think that there is no way that they could get any better. You’d be wrong. You can still have the appearance of a cozy wood burning fireplace, without having to deal with the burden of wood. Gas fireplaces use ceramic logs in place of wooden ones. This way the ceramics can be painted and fashioned to look like wood, but are able to withstand the intense heat of the gas flame.

So pull out the bear skin rug, and snuggle with your honey in front of a fire you didn’t have to build!

Soot, Soot Everywhere…

Unless you want your front room covered in a thick layer of ash and soot (brings to mind Pompeii), you should probably install a blower unit with your gas fireplace. If you want to stick with the realistic burning wood look, you should install a vented gas fireplace. Its flame burns yellow, which closely resembles the flames of a wood burning fire.  Once again, this produces soot, so be sure to install a blower.  If you don’t really care about an authentic wood burning look, you can install a gas fireplace that burns hotter. This produces a blue flame (much hotter than yellow), that produces less soot. This is true because; the hotter the flame the more combustion takes place, which leads to less soot everywhere.

The Downside

One of the most serious downsides to gas fireplaces is the byproduct, carbon monoxide (CO). It is an odorless, colorless gas that is lethal if you are exposed for too long.  When natural fuels like propane and kerosene are burned CO is released into the air.  If you are installing a gas fireplace in your house it would be a very smart idea to also install a CO detector. It can help save your life.

To keep yourself safe from potentially lethal gas, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s guide to the “T”. If you feel that your gas fireplace isn’t working properly don’t use it, call the manufacturer and have someone come inspect or repair it.

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