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The Pros and Cons of a Gas Fireplace

Throughout history, the traditional method of keeping warm has been to use a log fire to burn through the cold nights. And while recent years have seen the rise of central heating in houses, many still enjoy the effect of a crackling fire. For those people, they have two primary options to get what they want. Older houses were built with chimneys to accommodate having an open flame source in the house while still getting rid of the smoke. In recent years, gas-fueled fireplaces have risen to the main source of indoor fires. If you’re trying to decide whether a gas fireplace is worth it, take some time to read through these pros and cons of owning one. 
Easy to Use – Anyone who’s been camping knows that starting a fire can be annoying and difficult. Once the gas fireplace is installed, starting the fire is literally as simple as flipping a switch.

Price – Gas fireplaces are surprisingly affordable. After the initial install, the only cost is the price of gas.

No Hassle – No wood burning means no need for a chimney, and no chimney means no sooty mess that needs to be cleaned up.

More Effective Heating – Standing by a fire can be somewhat unpleasant. You get overheated and have to step away, get cold and step closer, then repeat. It’s a hassle. With gas fireplaces, new methods of heat distribution make having it on a warming experience for the whole house.

It’s Legal – In many states, wood fireplaces are actually illegal. Having an open flame is a hazard that a lot of places don’t want to deal with. Luckily, gas fireplaces are legal in every single state.

Price of Fuel – Gas is inexpensive, but wood is cheaper. Buying wood in large amounts is extremely cost effective, and ends up saving you quite a bit of cash in the long run.

Experience – Gas fireplaces offer a lot, but nothing can really replace the experience of a real fire. The smells, the crackling wood, and the authenticity of a wood fire are a unique experience that you can’t find anywhere else.

A word of caution concerning ventless gas fireplaces or ventless gas heaters of any kind.  If the fumes from any flame are not vented to the outdoors, they are vented into the homes air.  And on a cold winter night, our houses are sealed up very tightly to keep out the cold air outside.  That means that the fumes from that gas flame build up in concentration in your home.  Now Carbon Monoxide is not generally produced by most certified ventless heaters unless they are not working properly.  But other products of combustion are released that are probably not healthy for most of us, especially the elderly and children.

Important!  Any home with fuel burning appliances including gas logs, gas furnaces, gas stoves, wood stoves, etc MUST have a Carbon Monoxide Alarm that is less than 3 years old!  Your life may depend on an alarm waking you up in the middle of the night when that appliance suddenly starts sending that poison gas into your bedroom.  I personally prefer a Low Level CO alarm that begins alarming at about 10 parts per million as opposed to the standard alarms that don’t even begin to alert you until you have been exposed to dangerous levels of CO for an hour or more.  Call our office for details on our low level CO alarms.

Our experts at Central Heat & Air are ready to answer any heating questions you may have.

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