Types of Gas FireplaceIn the past, gas fireplaces were mostly freestanding units that took up potentially valuable living space in your home. They also had only flickering blue flames for ambiance - a far cry from the dancing of yellow and orange flames in a wood burning fireplace.
Today's models are improving year by year. You can get a freestanding model or a fireplace insert model. You can choose between a vented or ventless model, depending on your needs. You can choose between natural gas and propane hookups. You can also hook a gas fireplace up so that, should electricity be out for days, you can disconnect and cap the gas line in a matter of minutes, and thus transform your fireplace back into a wood burning fireplace. This is a huge benefit if you live in an area where ice storms and other severe weather threaten power outages that can last for days in sub-zero weather.
Space is a big benefit to a gas fireplace. Unless you use propane and have a tank on your property, you do not have to store gas on your property. Otherwise, the natural gas just gets conveniently piped in from the gas company.
Wood for a traditional stove has to be purchased (or cut down), chopped to size, stacked lugged inside during snowy winters, and then you have to clean up. Also, woodpiles are invitations for all sorts of critters, some dangerous.
Advantages of a Gas Fireplace
Gas fireplaces are typically cleaner than traditional wood burning fireplaces. There is no wood to lug in, so you won't have bark and wood chips all over the hearth and floor. There is also no ash to scoop out and dispose of regularly. There is also no threat of burning logs tumbling off the grate or sparking embers jumping out onto your floor.
You can also get models with pretty realistic looking logs and burning embers. However the logs in gas fireplaces are made of ceramic or concrete. You can even get remote control to change the flames to your liking!
With gas fireplaces, you can turn them off completely before going to bed or leaving. No more worry about putting the fire out or waiting until it burns out.
If you have young children in the house, a gas fireplace can give you great peace of mind knowing they won't throw anything into the fire or climb up on the hearth when you aren't looking for 3 seconds.
Gas fireplaces are also a benefit in areas where burn bans are in effect in order to reduce the amount of smoke in the environment. Even during an elevated burn ban, you can still run a gas fireplace when you can't have a wood burning fire or sometimes even a fire in a pellet stove.
But before you purchase a gas fireplace, do research and ask lots of questions about the different models and features so you make the best decision possible.
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