Fall doesn’t officially begin until September 23rd this year, but people are already preparing for the upcoming season. As the temperature begins to drop, home renovations will have an emphasis on staying warm and keeping heating costs down. If you are still dealing with the hassle of wood-burning fires, a gas fireplace can be a great way to heat an area without using electricity. Gas logs are a great alternative to firewood for multiple reasons, but before we get into details it’s best to first know the basic differences in gas fireplaces.
Vented, Vent-Free, and Direct Vent
Gas logs can be vented or vent-free, or you could go a step above and install direct vent. Each option is suited to different kinds of homeowners.
Vented gas logs are best for customers that require only a small amount of radiant heat but like the appearance of a roaring fire. While vented gas logs will produce the most realistic flames, they can be quite inefficient in comparison to vent free logs. This is due to the fact that the damper in a fireplace must be open when vented logs are installed and used, allowing heat to escape.
Vent-free gas logs are an inexpensive and efficient way to add extra heat to a room without having to open the damper on your fireplace. These logs use the air from within the room for combustion and then put heat back out into the room. Unfortunately, this means that sometimes people notice an odor associated with combustion when using vent-free logs. Those with allergies and asthma are the most affected by these odors, so it is recommended that a window or door is cracked when using vent-free gas logs. In most cases, vent-free gas logs cannot be used in conjunction with a blower.
Direct vent inserts are an even better option than gas logs. These entire units are designed to turn your fireplace into a high efficiency heat source. Direct vent inserts are completely sealed units that use outside air for combustion and dump all of the fumes and by-products of combustion to the exterior of the home through a specially engineered vent system all while maintaining a high efficiency rating. They even come standard with a large glass front to allow for an unobstructed view of the fire. These units can be used as a main heating source and are perfect for airtight spaces like basements, bathrooms or anywhere clean air is a priority.
Now that you’re aware of the differences between vent-free and vented gas logs, here’s why gas logs of any type are a better alternative to firewood:
Gas logs are cleaner
Installing gas logs means that you will spend much less time on fireplace and chimney maintenance: you won’t have to clean up ashes and debris every time you use the fireplace, you also won’t have to clean your chimney every couple of years.
Gas logs are safer
Gas logs are a much safer heating and aesthetic alternative to a real fire, especially if you have pets, kids, or limited space. Real logs run the danger of producing flying sparks and creosote buildup in the chimney itself, but gas logs produce a tame flame and put less matter into the air when burned.
Gas logs are more environmentally friendly
Gas logs are more environmentally friendly than burning firewood. This is because when wood is burned, it produces a particulate matter that is released into the air, creating pollution (and build-up in your chimney after a number of uses). Since gas logs are not constructed of firewood and burn propane or natural gas, you can get all of the heating and aesthetic benefits of a wood-burning fireplace without the environmental implications.
Gas logs save you time and money
In the long run, gas logs are a cheaper alternative to burning firewood. When you take into consideration all of the time and money spent purchasing or chopping your own wood and cleaning your fireplace, in addition to money spent having to clean the chimney every couple of years, gas logs will pay for themselves quickly in terms of money and time.
Gas logs are stylish and customizable
Gas logs come in a variety of sizes and styles, meaning that you are not limited to the type of firewood readily available to you. Sizes can range from 16 inches to 60 inches (we personally carry vent-free logs that range from 18 to 36 inches), and you can choose the type of wood you want your gas logs to emulate.
*Gas log maintenance*
A gas log set is much easier to maintain than burning real firewood, but it is important to have your logs inspected every year for cracks and breaks. If your gas logs are not in sound condition, they should not be used.
Are you interested in learning more about gas logs? Check out our gas log product page here, and take a look at our Monesson, Empire/White Mountain Hearth, and R.H. Peterson/Real Fyre & Heatmaster gas log brochures to see our product selection.
To view our direct vent fireplaces by Kozy Heat, click here.
Want to receive free propane for your fireplace, or maybe a remote? See G&B Energy’s fall hearth promotions here