There are few activities cozier than curling up in front of the fireplace on a brisk late-autumn or mid-winter day. A fireplace is one of the most sought-after home features, and many buyers are willing to increase their bid on a home if it comes with a fireplace.
Though many people believe an old-fashioned wood-burning fireplace is the only way to go, the truth is that modern gas fireplaces provide the same comfort and charm with better efficiency, safety and cleanliness.
Here’s what you need to know about today’s gas fireplace offerings:
They’re More Realistic Than You Think
The first gas fireplaces were unconvincing replicas of the traditional wood-burning fireplace, with obviously faux logs and small blue flames. But these are no longer the norm. Today’s gas fireplaces look and feel like the real deal, with logs nearly identical to firewood and orange flames that flicker like last summer’s campfire. But unlike last summer’s campfire, the gas version is much easier to set up and control – making it a safer option, especially for families with pets or children.
They’re Easier to Fire Up
Building a wood fire requires a skill set only obtained through trial and error. First, there’s the tinder, perhaps taken from a pile of old newspapers; then the kindling, carefully stacked atop your paper. Then comes the meat of the fire, those big logs that will ignite only when perfectly dry and well-constructed.
On the other hand, a gas fire only requires a single action: the press of a button, or the flick of a switch. It’s as easy as turning on the light – or turning it off so you can appreciate the glow of your stress-free fire.
They’re Cleaner in More Ways Than One
For nearly every wood-burning fireplace, there’s a log pile waiting to be loaded into the fireplace and ignited. These woodpiles scatter bark, moss and other debris throughout the room where it’s stored. They also increase the risk of pests getting into the home; mice and bugs are known to make their nests inside these logs. Where there is no need for wood, there’s no risk of bringing pests into your home.
As your fire burns, smoke travels upward leaving behind creosote and soot that sticks to the walls of the chimney. These materials can block ventilation and eventually become a fire hazard, making it critical to clean the chimney regularly. Gas fireplaces, on the other hand, require very little maintenance – an annual checkup should be enough.
After your wood fire has died down, it leaves behind a mess of soot, ash and burning embers. Users need to sweep up and dispose of the remnants. This chore is nonexistent for those who enjoy a gas fireplace.
Finally, the smoke that burning embers emit pollutes your home and your community. Meanwhile, since propane and natural gas both burn at between 65 and 99 percent efficiency, there’s very little pollution and no smoky smell associated with your fires.
It’s Easy to Upgrade a Wood Burning Fireplace to Gas to Enjoy All These Benefits
Gas fireplaces are easy to retrofit into an existing wood-burning fireplace and can be a simple way to make your home cozier this winter. If you have questions about how to install a gas fireplace into your home, reach out to SMO Energy.