CONVERT TO CLEAN BURNING GAS
You can convert an existing wood-burning fireplace to gas, but it must be that — an existing wood-burning fireplace. Wood-burning appliances, such as wood stoves, cannot be converted to gas.
Convenience and efficiency are the main reasons you'd want to convert a wood-burning fireplace to gas. Gas fireplaces burn cleaner, are easier to use, and require virtually no time to start and stop the fire. You don't have to chop or store wood, tend to the fire, wait for it to burn out, or clean up ash. With gas, you can have a roaring fire going within seconds at the simple press of a button or flip of a switch.
CHIMNEY INSPECTION AND REPAIR
Before converting your fireplace, we'll need to perform a chimney inspection. We may need to clean out creosote build-up and repair any masonry or flue damage.
This is especially important if you plan on installing a Direct Vent insert or Vented gas logs that require a working flue.
You must have the right-sized gas line installed for accurate gas flow to the appliance. Hiring a licensed plumbing professional to run the gas line will ensure it is installed correctly and is the appropriate size for the BTU rating of the gas insert or gas log set.
WHAT'S BETTER - GAS LOGS OR AN INSERT?
Traditional gas inserts are designed to fit inside existing fireplace openings and are finished with a decorative surround to make the installation look seamless and intentional.
In most cases, you must have your chimney lined with a stainless steel chimney liner for the gas insert to work as efficiently and safely as possible.
Chimney liners consist of a round, continuous steel pipe installed through the existing chimney and connect directly to the insert.
Most gas inserts are built to work in conjunction with UL listed stainless steel chimney liners to provide the proper clearances and allow combustion byproducts to vent out of the home safely.
DIRECT VENT GAS INSERT
Direct Vent inserts are similar to traditional gas inserts but feature a completely sealed firebox and venting system.
Most Direct Vent inserts require a vertical, co-linear venting system (two pipes side-by-side) where one pipe pulls in fresh outside air for combustion and the other exhausts combusted gases.
Direct Vent appliances protect indoor air quality and are the best choice for individuals with chronic lung issues like asthma. They offer a full flame appearance and operate with up to 85% efficiency.
VENTED GAS LOGS
If you want an affordable alternative to your traditional wood-burning fireplace that maintains the same ambiance, then Vented gas logs are your best option. They offer a full flame presentation and typically come with an expansive glowing ember bed to give the illusion of real wood embers dying in a fire. Vented gas logs are considered a decorative appliance, providing a realistic wood-burning look but lacking heating efficiency. They must be used with a functional chimney and require the chimney damper to stay open at all times. Since the damper stays open, most of the heat produced is lost.
It is not recommended for homeowners to run a gas line or install gas-fueled appliances themselves. Both the gas line and gas appliance must be installed properly, and to residential and city codes, to avoid serious injury. Gas fireplaces and inserts should be inspected and serviced once per year by a licensed gas professional to ensure they are in good repair.
As with any gas appliance, it's important to have carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your home. Carbon monoxide detectors should be tested regularly, and the batteries replaced at the start of each season to keep them functioning optimally.