Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Gas Fireplace Can Be a Convenient Alternative

One of the most commonly sought after amenities home shoppers look for is a fireplace.  Unfortunately, many existing homes lack this feature and the addition of a fireplace in existing construction can be extremely costly and beyond the means of many homeowners.  But now, thanks to the modern gas fireplace, any homeowner can add this feature and enjoy the warmth and beauty gas fireplaces can provide.  Even if adding a vent pipe or flue is not possible in your situation, vent free gas fireplaces are manufactured that can be installed anywhere a gas supply line is available.

Should you be involved in the construction of a new home, your options for including a fireplace are many.  You can choose to add a free standing fireplace or built-in fireplace.  You can choose to construct a masonry fireplace and burn wood or install gas logs.  You can install a prefabricated fireplace with either gas logs or wood burning capabilities.  If you have an existing fireplace and are tired of the hassles of burning wood, you can easily convert this feature to a gas fireplace and eliminate that hassle.

Gas fireplaces are very fuel efficient and thanks to modern gas burners, your gas fireplace can be installed without venting to the outdoors thus eliminating heat loss all together.  These units, however, are not without their issues.  The burning of gas produces moisture, and with vented models this moisture is carried to the outdoors.  However, when using a non vented gas fireplace, you can only burn the fire for six or seven hours at the time in order to prevent mold or mildew that could form from the moisture the unit produces.  Also, if you choose a non vented model, be sure to have the unit checked yearly to insure it is operating properly and all safety features are in working order.

A gas fireplace option is being utilized by more and more homeowners as wood is becoming extremely expensive to purchase.  In past years, many people had access to and cut their own firewood.  Today, this is becoming more rare as most homes are built in subdivisions on small lots, thus making access to a free source of firewood less likely.  Even if cost is not an issue, many people tire of the cutting, hauling, and stacking of firewood and the constant cleaning of the firebox. So, installing a gas fireplace is a great option for eliminating this chore and also the mess that is created when carrying wood through your house.

While the flames from gas fireplaces do not look exactly like wood burning and you will no longer enjoy the sound of the fire crackling and the faint smell of wood smoke, a gas fireplace can be a great option for many homeowners in many situations.  Should you choose to purchase and install one of these units as a new installation or in an existing firebox, a gas fireplace can provide many years of satisfactorily operation and numerous hours of enjoyment for you, your family and your guests.