Gas Fireplace Installation
in Southern Maryland

On a chilly winter’s night, few things are more comforting than curling up around a warm, cozy fireplace. Although traditional wood-burning fireplaces require firewood and regular chimney clean-outs and tend to produce a fair amount of ash, gas fireplaces are considerably lower maintenance. Gas fireplaces are also a lot easier to light compared to wood-burning ones. All you need to do is push a button.

If you want the warmth and comfort of a fireplace without the need to keep a woodpile or sharpen your ax, let SMO Energy install a gas-powered fireplace in your Southern Maryland home.

Gas fireplaces require annual inspections and tune-ups.

Why Install or Replace a Fireplace?

Aside from making your living room feel cozy, there are several benefits to gas fireplaces. If your home already has a wood-burning fireplace or an older gas model, there are some reasons why it might be time to replace it.

Having a fireplace in your home makes it more attractive to potential buyers and can increase the market value of your house. Around 83% of real estate agents said that they thought a fireplace could increase the value of a home by up to $4,999.

If you already have a fireplace at home, and it is a wood-burning one, it might be worthwhile to convert it to a gas-burning one. A wood-burning fire might feel warm and look good, but it takes a lot of time and effort to get that fire going. First of all, you need to get wood to burn in the fireplace.

Depending on your situation, that might mean finding wood, splitting it, drying it and hauling it to your living room. It can also mean tracking down a reliable source of firewood and going to that source to stock up as needed.

Getting a wood fire burning requires effort. Newspaper, piles of kindling and a lot of hope are often involved in the process. If you have a wood fireplace at home, the energy needed to get a fire going might mean that you do not use it as often as you would like.

In contrast, a gas fireplace is often reasonably easy to use. You do not have to build a fire. All you need to do is press the ignition button to get things started. Once the fire is going, you do not need to pay close attention to it to keep it from burning out.

Converting your wood-burning fireplace to gas also means less maintenance and upkeep for you. A gas fireplace is connected to the gas line in your home, so there is no need to go out and purchase an additional fuel source for it. You also do not have to worry about clearing away ashes from a gas fireplace or cleaning the creosote in the chimney.

Compared to traditional wood-burning fireplaces, a gas fireplace can be an energy-efficient way to heat an area of your home. Older, open wood-burning fireplaces pull warm air from the room and directly up the chimney, away from the living area. A gas-powered fireplace insert is considerably more energy-efficient and does not remove the warm air out of the room.

You can use a gas fireplace to warm up a room in your home that you are actively using on a chilly evening, keeping the thermostat turned down in the empty rooms. Only heating the space you are using can help to lower your home’s energy bills.

One last reason to install a gas fireplace or replace a wood-burning one — doing so can help your family breathe more easily. The smoke produced by burning wood contains more than 100 chemical compounds, including potential carcinogens. Inhaling the smoke from a wood-burning fire can trigger asthma, allergies or other respiratory issues. Natural gas and propane burn more cleanly than wood and other fuels.

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Why Choose SMO Energy for Your Gas Fireplace Installation and Maintenance?

SMO Energy has been serving residents of Southern Maryland since 1926. If you are interested in installing a gas fireplace or replacing an existing fireplace, we will be by your side throughout the process. We will pull the right permits, schedule and oversee the inspections and ensure that everything is installed following local regulations and codes.

The type of fireplace we will install depends on your wishes and what is available to your property. Your gas fireplace can be powered by natural gas or propane. If natural gas is not available to your home, we will install a propane tank on your property and the appropriate gas lines. We can also deliver propane gas to you, without delivery fees or other hidden fees. To help you manage your fuel costs and budget, SMO Energy also offers free monthly payment plans.

Once your fireplace is installed, we will still be there for you. We offer service agreements for propane fireplace maintenance. Someone from our team of NATE-certified technicians will inspect and tune-up your fireplace once a year.

SMO Energy wants to be your total home comfort provider. In addition to gas fireplace installation and repairs, we also repair or replace furnaces, boilers, heat pump and air conditioners. If you have a fireplace service agreement with us, you can combine it with another service agreement and get a discount and the peace of mind that all of your home’s heating and cooling systems are protected.

Additionally, if you should have a problem with your home heating, SMO Energy offers 24/7 emergency service. You do not have to worry about shivering through a cold night if your heater goes out. We are committed to excellent service and have live client care representatives available to help solve your problem.

What You Should Know About Fireplace Installation and Services

You are interested in installing a fireplace in your Southern Maryland home, but you still have several questions about what to expect. Perhaps you have recently installed or replaced a fireplace and want to make sure that everything is working properly. Take a look at some answers to several frequently asked questions.

A gas fireplace can either use natural gas or propane gas. If your home does not currently have a natural gas line, it might be easier and less expensive to install a propane fireplace. We will also install a propane tank and the appropriate gas lines. You can also schedule regular propane deliveries to make sure you never run out of fuel.

While gas fireplaces require less maintenance and upkeep than wood-burning fireplaces, they do need some care and attention. Gas fireplace maintenance typically requires an annual cleaning and inspection by a certified technician. During the inspection, the technician will check the burners, pilot, fan and ventilation. They will also clean the glass and exterior of the fireplace.

A gas fireplace does burn more cleanly than wood, but that does not mean that it does not produce any soot. After installing your fireplace, the technician will tune the gas logs to allow them to produce a clean, yellow flame.

However, you should have your gas fireplace cleaned regularly. Annual cleaning and tune-up is best. Call in a certified technician to check that the logs remain properly tuned and to adjust or replace them if they are worn out or cracked. A tech can also remove the logs and clean them safely.

Fireplaces that burn natural gas can only burn natural gas while fireplaces that burn propane can only burn propane. The two types of fuels burn differently. Each one requires a system designed just for it. When you replace or install a new fireplace, an energy consultant from SMO Energy will discuss your fuel options with you and show you fireplaces that are appropriate for the type of fuel you are going to use.

The amount of propane your gas fireplace will use depends on how much fuel it consumes and how cold it is outdoors. On a freezing night, if you crank up your fireplace, it will need to use more gas to keep your room warm compared to turning the fireplace up the same amount on a warmer evening.

The amount of fuel your fireplace uses is measured in British thermal units (BTUs). A fireplace with a higher BTU rating will use more fuel per hour than one with a lower BTU rating.

How long you can use a gas fireplace depends on the type of fireplace. Vent-free fireplaces should not be used for long periods, such as overnight, because of the risk of carbon monoxide build-up. If you have a direct vent or B-vent fireplace, you can run it for longer. If no one is in the room with the fireplace, your best option is usually to turn it off.

You have probably been trained to associate the smell of gas with danger. It is natural to feel concerned if you notice a smell coming from your gas logs. But not all odors are a cause for concern. A faint smell of gas or kerosene is a normal consequence of using a gas fireplace. If you notice the smell coming from the logs when you are not actively using the fireplace, you might want to call SMO Energy. One of our technicians will come out and take a look at your fireplace to ensure there are no leaks or issues with the fireplace.

It is best to switch your gas fireplace off before you go to sleep. You are most likely not using the fireplace as the central or main heating system in your home, so the temperature inside will not fall too low if you turn off the fireplace at night. If you are using a vented fireplace with a damper, it is a good idea to leave the damper open overnight to allow gases to escape.

The cost of installing a fireplace depends on several factors. If you already have a fireplace installed, it is often less expensive to replace your existing model with a newer, gas-powered model. If you want to install a vented fireplace in a house that does not have one already, you can expect to pay more. Whether your home is already connected to a gas line or not will also influence the cost of installing a fireplace.

Not sure what type of fireplace you have? An energy consultant from SMO Energy can help you figure it out. One of our technicians can visit your home, inspect your existing fireplace, and let you know what type it is. If you are interested in upgrading or replacing it, they can also discuss your replacement options with you. We are happy to help you choose a model that will provide comfort while working with your budget.

When used correctly, a gas fireplace is generally safe. However, there are risks involved with any fuel-burning equipment, and it is essential to take safety precautions to protect your home and family. For example, keep furniture and fabrics several feet away from the fireplace to reduce the risk of fires. Do not let your children play near the fireplace or touch it, especially when it is burning. Schedule regular inspections to make sure your fireplace is in good working order and to correct any issues before they become significant concerns.

Yes, SMO Energy is happy to offer annual service agreements for gas fireplaces. As part of our service agreement, we will inspect and tune-up your fireplace once per year. You can combine your gas fireplace service agreement with service agreements for other home heating and cooling systems, such as your HVAC or furnace, to protect your entire home for a discounted rate.

Gas Fireplace Services We Offer

5 Gas Fireplace Safety Tips

Following a few safety precautions will help to protect your home and family and keep your fireplace running without issue. Follow these tips to keep your fireplace safe:

  • Do not add extra fuel to your fireplace. There is no need to add lighter fluid or gasoline to your fireplace. Doing so could cause an explosion.
  • Keep furniture away from the fireplace. It is a good idea to keep anything combustible, such as furniture, curtains or pillows, at least 3 feet away from the fireplace.
  • Keep an eye on children and companion animals near the fireplace. Fireplaces get very hot and can cause burns if curious children or pets get too close or try to touch the glass. Teach your kids to stay at least 3 feet away and do not leave kids or pets unattended in a room with a burning fireplace.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms near the fireplace. Check the batteries in the alarms regularly to make sure they are still working.
  • Make sure the fire is out before you leave your home or go to sleep. Do not leave your fireplace on when no one is home or when everyone is sleeping.

Annual Maintenance Is Important for Gas Fireplaces

Maintaining your fireplace will ensure that it has a long life and that it will keep working safely. Just as you should schedule annual inspections and tune-ups of your furnace, boiler or HVAC systems, so you should also schedule annual a tune-up and inspection of your gas fireplace.

During an inspection and tune-up, a certified technician from SMO Energy will:

  • Check that the fireplace is igniting and combusting correctly.
  • Check the operation of the fan.
  • Check the pilot safety system.
  • Check the pilot and burners.
  • Check the ventilation.
  • Inspect the gasket.
  • Clean the exterior of the fireplace and the glass.
Service Technician from SMO Energy

Gas Fireplace Cleaning Services

Although gas fireplaces tend to be cleaner-burning compared to wood fireplaces, they do require some cleaning and care from time to time. You can clean the outside of the glass on your fireplace using a standard glass cleaner. It’s best to hire a professional to clean your fireplace for you. SMO Energy’s technicians offer cleaning services as well as tune-ups and inspections. When we clean your fireplace, we can also confirm that everything is in good working order.

Schedule Your Annual Fireplace Maintenance With SMO Energy

If you live in Southern Maryland and have a fireplace in your home, SMO Energy will be happy to take care of it. Our service agreement will make sure your fireplace remains in good working condition. We can also replace a wood-burning fireplace with a gas model or repair a gas fireplace that is having problems. If you are noticing excess soot buildup or a strange odor coming from your fireplace, even when it is not burning, give us a call.

If you do not yet have a fireplace in your home and are interested in installing one, get in touch with us today to schedule an energy consultation. One of our technicians will pay you a visit, evaluate your home and listen to your needs to help you choose the fireplace that will suit you best.

Our Maryland Service Locations

SMO Energy has been working with Southern Maryland residents since 1926. We currently serve the following counties:

  • St. Mary’s County
  • Anne Arundel County
  • Prince George’s County
  • Charles County
  • Calvert County

At SMO Energy, we take total home comfort seriously. Whether you are looking to boost the warmth of a single room by installing a fireplace or want an all-over heating solution, get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you.

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We provide FREE in-home energy consultations to evaluate your current system and help you choose the best fireplace for your home.

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