Posts tagged with "Gas"

Reasons Your Gas Fireplace Isn’t Working

Gas fireplaces have several benefits: they’re easy to control, efficient at heating, and clean-burning. Every once in a while, however, there will be issues that need to be addressed. Below are some common problems with gas fireplaces and how to fix them:

Why Won’t My Gas Fireplace Start?

There are several issues that might prevent a gas fireplace from igniting. Here are some potential causes: Continue reading

Gas vs Wood Fireplaces: Price, Aesthetics, and Maintenance

Gas vs Wood Fireplaces: Price, Aesthetics, and Maintenance

Are you looking to install a fireplace in your home?  Better late than never! But the question isn’t if you should invest in one, it’s what kind is right for you?  Well, many fireplaces are powered by one of two types of energy: gas or wood.  These heating units vary slightly in features and benefits, so let’s get the inside scoop and figure out which is best for you. Continue reading

Types of Gas Fireplaces

custom fitted fireplace insertThere are a good many fireplace options for homeowners nowadays, and gas fireplaces are quite popular.  The big reasons gas fireplaces are attractive are that they are clean, convenient, and cheap to operate.

Depending on your needs or home’s capabilities, different types of gas fireplaces are available. Gas inserts, log sets, built-ins and free-standing units are all among the major types of gas fireplaces, so let’s learn more about them.

Gas Fireplace Inserts

Fireplace inserts in general are intended to be installed into a preexisting firebox, meaning that one sits directly inside a regular fireplace.  Gas inserts are often appealing alternatives when the home’s fireplace no longer works properly or isn’t safe to operate due to damage.  Many inserts are connected to and operate off of your home’s gas lines and are ignited via push button.  Other inserts may be fueled by a propane tank outside of the home.  Fireplace inserts often use ceramic logs to provide the benefits of the appearance of a real wood-burning fire, but without the smell or the smoke.

Gas Log Sets

electric fireplace

Photo by Jeffrey Beall

With gas log set units, you transform a run-down fireplace and get the standard ceramic logs and a grate to sit them in for an authentic look.  Gas log set units are noted as mostly decorative and are best for light use. Gas log sets may be vented or unvented.

Vented gas log sets are typically ventilated through the home’s chimney, but require little maintenance.  Unfortunately, that the burner doesn’t run very hot, and most of the heat will escape up the flue, so this unit isn’t a significant heat source.  Please note that, for log sets venting through the chimney, the flue must remain sized for normal fireplace operation.

Unvented gas log sets are generally more efficient. However, they should not be run continuously due to inevitable leftovers from combustion that will remain in the house such as water vapor, particulates, and even carbon monoxide.

Because log sets are mostly decorative, they are good choices for those who want to add a bit of ambience to a room and work well for those residing in warmer climates.

Built-In Gas Fireplaces

built in fireplaceIf you’re building a home and know that you want a fireplace but don’t want to maintain a wood-burning stove and chimney, you might go for a “built-in”.  A built-in gas fireplace is installed as the primary fire source in a wall of your home and has the inherent benefits of less heat waste compared to wood units.  When the fire is burning, less heat gets cycled out, allowing you to benefit from its warmth.

Vent-less built-in units do not require a chimney for ventilation.  They instead rely on oxygen sensors built into the logs to monitor your home’s oxygen levels. Many vent-less units are UL listed (certified by Underwriters Laboratory as suitable for home-use), but we again note that they may not eliminate all combustion byproduct from the interior of the home.

Direct-vented built-in units, on the other hand, enable pollutants—smoke, exhaust, etc…— to exit your home through the chimney, through a pipe scaling the wall, or up through your home’s roof.  A great benefit of direct venting is that without needing to be in proximity to a chimney, a built-in gas fireplace can be installed virtually any room in the home. Please note that for direct-vent units (or for any vented units other than gas sets) that vent through the chimney, the flue must be lined with a liner that is properly sized according to the units’ manufacturers’ specifications — note that this may sometimes require the additional cost of relining the chimney with a smaller liner. Additionally, the flame of direct-vented units is a traditional yellow, like the flame of wood, as opposed to the blue flame of ventless units.

Free-Standing Gas Stoves

Photo by Edvvc

Photo by Edvvc

Free-standing gas fireplace units combine all of the features and benefits of the other 3 choices.  But can you guess the biggest difference?  That’s right, these fireplaces are stoves that sit on your floor—in the corner, near a wall, or wherever you like.  They are operated by running a gas pipe to them for power, and they sport the same ceramic logs as other units to create a rustic feel.

As an added benefit, free-standing gas fireplaces are not only exposed in the front (like built-in units that only show the face), but also have all sides fully exposed in the room — This allows more heat (from the front, right and left side of the warm stove) to radiate into your room.

Fireplace Extras

No matter which type of gas unit you choose, there are many styles and add-ons available.  For instance, gas fireplaces come with the ability to add extras like fans to better circulate heat through your room.  Additionally, you may opt for one of many ignition systems—using automatic ignition that creates a spark to light the burners or various pilot lights (standing pilot, which is always ignited, in-demand pilot which can be manually turned off, etc.) to start your stove. A remote control is also a very popular option.

Gas fireplaces are sought-after because of the convenience as well as strong efficiency (averaging 70% and up).  There are types of gas fireplaces for anyone—log sets, built-ins, inserts and free-standing stoves each serve various needs.

So which will it be?

  • The insert, which resurrects your old fireplace to bring it back to working order?
  • A log set, which doesn’t provide substantial heat but makes for a lovely home accent
  • The built-in, which bypasses the need to deal with an old wood unit and perhaps even the need for a chimney?
  • Or a free-standing stove, which allows you to place it anywhere in the room to best enjoy it’s warmth?

The sky’s the limit and you can customize anything to your liking!

Types of Fireplace Inserts

With the cool weather moving in, many of us are planning ways of keeping our homes warm and toasty in the coming months.  Fireplaces always seem to be a go-to heating option, given their calming ambience…but not everyone has that luxury.  What’s a homeowner to do, then?  Invest in a fireplace insert, of course!  Inserts are great to have because they fit snugly into an already existing firebox and experience less heat loss than traditional fireplace units.  Perhaps the best part is that there are types and styles to meet every home and homeowners’ needs.  Let’s find out more about the many fireplace insert options.

Main Types of Fireplace Inserts

gas fireplace insert

Photo by Katie Schumm

There is indeed an insert option for every taste and need.  These include gas inserts, wood-burning inserts and electric inserts.  All options are typically dressed with self-cleaning glass doors for both enhanced safety and appeal, but as you can tell by their names, what really distinguishes each type is the means to fuel or power each unit.  Gas units make use of various types of gases to light the flames, wood-burning units operate like real fireplaces and operate from wood power and electric inserts may require little more than the flip of a switch.  No matter which you choose, your fireplace insert promises better home heating than traditional units because each is fully insulated to result in increased temperatures, better combustion and improved heat efficiency.

Types of Gas Fireplace Inserts

A gas fireplace insert is one option for your home.  They are unique in that they run off of gas fuel, such as natural gas or propane.  These units usually hook up to your home’s gas lines or a propane tank outside and direct venting models take in and release air through the chimney.  Some are vent-less, and will monitor oxygen levels in the home instead of using the chimney.  The major benefits of the gas insert are enhanced efficiency and heating power—giving off between 25,000 and 40,000 BTUs at 76-83% heat efficiency.  Additionally, gas units afford users a traditional look with decorative ceramic logs.

The biggest risk with gas units, however, is carbon monoxide poisoning.  While gas units are largely safe, it is difficult to check for leaks in the gas line, so a carbon monoxide detector is an essential accessory.  Overall, gas inserts are good bets for those who operate appliances via gas, individuals looking for the best value (Gas units heat small spaces well, ultimately saving on gas bills), and those wanting ease and convenience of use (They burn cleanly, requiring little chimney maintenance and are lit by means of a pilot light and ignition button).

Types of Wood-Burning Fireplace Inserts

custom fitted fireplace insert

Photo by Brenthasty

Wood-Burning fireplace inserts are some of the most complex of units available.  They’re unique in that they are fueled by wood or, alternatively, wood byproducts like manufactured logs made from sawdust.  These units are in the middle ground in terms of efficiency—running at about 50% due to potential heat loss during air circulation—and can burn very hot and long—upwards of 65,000 BTUs each hour, for 6+ hours.  Wood-burning units are ventilated via the home’s chimney and are therefore attached by a connector between the unit and chimney flue liner or by a connection which scales the entire height of the chimney.

The primary benefits of wood units are the rustic feel they create and the fact that they are “off-the-grid” and therefore work even in the absence of electrical power.  These units also have improved performance in recent years due to more stringent EPA guidelines, which have resulted in decreased smoke output and wood used.  We did say that wood-burning inserts are the most complex, however, and for good reason.  Wood inserts come with the inherent disadvantages of requiring increased maintenance, such as chimney inspections and removing soot and creosote from the units, and despite their lowered smoke emissions they still pose health risks to those who inhale the smoke and to the environment.  So when is a wood insert best?  Wood is likely a go-to option for individuals who heat their homes primarily by fire and do not want to/cannot rely on other methods of power such as gas and electricity, as wood is plentiful and reliable.  Even better, if your chimney is in good repair, you might as well make use of it!

Types of Electric Fireplace Inserts

electric fireplaceElectric fireplace inserts are a pretty good deal…all you do is plug it in and flip a switch!  The unique part about electric units is that they are entirely powered by electricity, via 110-volt outlets and don’t require chimney ventilation.  They come in a variety of sizes to suit your needs, too, and produce just the right amount of heat for comfort—around 4,000-5,000 BTUs.  A nice benefit is that electric units may be used with the heat on to provide warmth, or alternatively as a decorative piece with the heat off and the glow of the flames flickering on artificial logs.  Additionally, these inserts are flexible—they may be used as an alternative to the wood-burning fireplace they reside in or easily removed to light a traditional fire (so long as the fireplace functions correctly).

The downside, of course, is that when the electricity goes out in inclement weather, so does your fire.  Luckily, these units may be backed up with a battery or generator, so don’t panic!  And these units are especially good for those who live in older homes, as operating the traditional fireplace is often out of the question because the unit and/or chimney are in disrepair and electric inserts provide a sound alternative.

Gas?  Wood?  Electric?  There are so many types of fireplace inserts and each is unique and advantageous in its own way.  So how do you choose?  Compare, compare, compare and choose one based on the most important features!  Safety and efficiency are key, but so is appearance.  There’s a fireplace insert to meet everyone’s needs…which one wins in your book?

Gas Fireplace Installation | Enjoying No Fuss Fire

Gas Fireplace Installation: Enjoy Your Fireplace

Many people enjoy relaxing in front of a fire, but are unwilling to put in the time and energy necessary to properly and safely maintain a traditional fireplace. Luckily for the casual fireplace enthusiast, gas fireplace installation is a relatively easy process, allowing you to enjoy some quality time in front of the fire without the hassle.

Gas fireplaces come in an assortment of styles, finishes and styles, allowing you to pick the perfect fireplace to complement your home. For those who embrace the aesthetic of the plain gas fireplace, options exist that forgo gas fireplace logs and just show the gas fire.

Gas Fireplace Logs

Other varieties exist that are meant to replicate traditional fireplaces. If you’re flashing back to your great aunt’s wholly unrealistic gas fireplace, there’s no need to panic. Criticism of old gas fireplaces with plastic looking gas fireplace logs and bright blue flames have driven the industry to create incredibly realistic gas fireplaces.

From flickering orange flames, to glowing coals and embers, it’s hard for the casual observer to tell the difference between gas and traditional fireplaces. Gas fireplace logs have especially evolved, perfectly split and dark around the edges, effectively replicating their natural counterparts without the mess.

If you already have a fireplace that isn’t in use, gas fireplace inserts exist that can be easily installed into the preexisting space. With a chimney inspection to clean out any previous residue and ensure a properly functioning chimney, your gas fireplace installation can be finished quickly, allowing you to bask in the warmth. If your home doesn’t have a pre-existing chimney, don’t worry. Modern gas fireplaces often just need a vent to the outside. This short vent doesn’t involve major remodeling or invasive construction; most companies can install in within a day.

For the busy modern family, gas fireplaces are a perfect choice. There’s no need to collect wood, clean ashes, or monitor the flue for flammable deposits of creosote and soot. If you decide to leave the home or go to bed, a flip of a switch will kill the flames immediately, allowing you to enjoy a fire when you want without extended commitment to watching it. Many modern gas fireplaces even come equipped with a remote control, allowing easy use at a distance. There’s a reason gas fireplaces have been gaining popularity over the years. If you’re interested in a gas fireplace installation, contact us for an in-home consultation.

The Heat Efficiency of Wood Burning Stoves vs. Gas Stoves

Ever wonder about the overall efficiency of a wood burning stove as opposed to a gas stove? There are many differences between the two types of stoves but understanding the distinction in combustion and heating efficiency is the most helpful towards making a decision as to which stove is beneficial for you and your family’s needs.

Combustion vs. Heat Transfer Efficiency

wood burning stove

Combustion Efficiency vs. Heat Transfer Efficiency

First off, defining combustion efficiency and heating transfer efficiency is important to understand the rest of this discussion. Combustion efficiency is the percentage of fuel that is actually turned into heat instead of ash, vapor, steam, etc. This form of efficiency is a measure of the percentage of your fuel expenses it takes to create heat in your stove, while taking into account the amount of waste that is created from this fuel usage.

Heat transfer efficiency is how much of the heat generated actually radiates throughout the rooms in your home. This is essential to take note of because there’s a distinct difference between the fuel creating heat within your stove and that actual heat being expelled throughout your home from the stove. There’s normally a lot more heat created within the stove then is available to heat your home.

Wood Burning Stoves Heating Efficiency

The fuel that generates heat within a wood burning stove is obviously firewood. Wood burning stoves are often less efficient when it comes to an equal balance of fuel to heat release because the outside of these types of stoves don’t typically have an efficient heat exchanger. A heat exchanger is a piece of the equipment on the stove that helps transfer heat from the stove to the rest of the room. Heat exchangers on wood burning stoves don’t have the surface area for the proper extraction and distribution of heat relative to the amount of fuel used to generate the heat. Wood stoves are much more combustion efficient then they are heat transfer efficient.

However, wood stoves still remain efficient heating options because of the fact they are in the area of your home that you want heated. Unlike a wood stove insert or a fireplace, a wood burning stove is often near the center of the room and is exterior from a wall. Therefore, the stove generates heat closer to you and your family. Lastly, wood burning stoves are especially worth purchasing, despite their heat transfer inefficiencies, if you don’t have to pay for the wood to fuel them. If you have access to your own firewood, then the heat transfer inefficiencies aren’t costing you the same downsides as they would if you’re buying firewood.

Gas Stove Heat Efficiency

Gas stoves are powered by gas via the piping in your home, much like a conventional cooking oven. Gas utility services are often more of an expense than firewood to fuel a stove. Yet, the overall combustion and heat transfer efficiency of a gas stove is much higher than that of a wood stove. It all comes down to pricing.

Heat exchangers in gas stoves help prevent escaping heat from your stove and help better distribute it throughout your home. They are typically more viable within a gas stove then in a wood stove, therefore less heat escapes from the stove making a gas stove more efficient in both respects.

Many gas stoves have high levels of insulation and tight fitting door hinges that a wood stove does not. This severely increases the efficiency of a gas stove over a wood stove because they are able to retain higher levels of heat for longer periods of time.

In the end, both gas and wood stoves have high levels of heat and combustion efficiency. Gas stoves are typically more reliable in terms of efficiency then wood stoves, but often at a higher price.

Gas Log Fireplaces vs. Wood Burning Fireplaces

The gas log fireplace has a number of advantages over a traditional wood burning fireplace. While some of the reasons might appear to be obvious others might turn a few curious glances. Gas fireplaces do not have the same amount of realism and the impact of a wood burning fireplace, but with added features gas fireplaces are widely considered realistic and beneficial enough to exceed the expectations of the hearth design. Let’s take a look at the tale of the tape for gas vs. wood fireplaces.

fireplace table

Ambiance

Nothing mimics a wood burning fireplace. The natural crackling and popping and sizzling of sap and the sweet, harsh olfactory effect of a wood fire triggers a physical sensation and psychological relaxation similar to the sounds and smells of the ocean. However, fumes can become toxic, crackling sap sends arcs of sparks off in random directions and a slowly dying fire leaves embers pulsing for hours waiting for an incendiary mistake. While gas fireplaces lack many of the features that create the allure of a wood burning fireplace, the gas fireplace is safer, easier to use and more attractive than most wood stoves and wood burning fireplaces.

Wood & Gas Logs

gas logs

Artificial logs in a gas fireplace.

A gas fireplace offers a level of realism that doesn’t take away from the effects that its traditional counterpart offers. Because of the advancement in technology gas fireplaces offer an authentic looking hand painted ceramic log that comes complete with texture and charring. Well designed gas fireplaces have been commonly mistaken for wood burning fires. Although a wood burning fireplace has burning wood and a gas fireplace burner emits flames from just below the logs the design mimics real flames more reliably than wood logs that often burn inconsistently.

Different gas log manufacturers create gas logs with varying processes and materials. Gas fireplace logs are manufactured of ceramic that has been treated for flame, reinforced with steel supports, hand painted for realistic textures and molded from casts of wood logs. Some gas fireplace logs are also made of a heat resistant foam similar to the architectural foam used for the decorative exterior of homes. Foam refractory logs are lighter and easier to remove to clean and much less expensive but it is also easier to crack the external shell.

The Fire

fireplace screen

A screen protects your home from flying embers.

Because a gas fireplace doesn’t operate on electricity gas burns at a reduced cost compared to a standard home heater. While fireplace wood can be expensive, wood can also be found free. A gas fire will burn until it is turned off and will simply cool down until the next time it is used. In comparison, a wood burning fireplace has to burn down and go out, before it will be safe to leave it unattended with glowing embers dangerously hot several hours after flames have burned out.

A gas fireplace also offers more flexibility in temperature and the appearance of the flames. The fire level is easily adjusted to deliver the amount of warmth and aesthetic appeal that a home needs. When it gets too hot a gas fire can be instantly lowered or be increased when the room gets too hot. With a wood burning fireplace a fire cannot be adjusted in a matter of moments to get the room the temperature to a comfortable place. While a talented use of the poker and flue can affect the heat of a wood burning fireplace it is certainly easier and more reliable to simply push a button and adjust flame height.

Maintenance

dirty fireplace

The remains of a wood fire.

There are also dangers and headaches associated with a wood burning stove. For example, a wood burning stove needs to be cleaned after each use or at least often enough to remove fine silt ash. Ash build up can be messy and difficult if cleaned poorly or left unattended and the fine ash can ruin clothing, air conditioners and get everywhere. Burning wood fireplaces also generate creosote and a chimney must be cleaned on a regular basis to ensure that no chimney fires occur. A gas fireplace will only need to be checked periodically for carbon soot or a leak after a forceful storm, there is no cause for alarm when setting it up for operation.

Ease of Use

gas fireplace

A glimpse at the wiring hidden beneath a gas fireplace.

Ease of use should be noted as well. Many gas fireplaces keep a standing pilot like gas stoves and heater. When the gas fireplace is used a button pushed or knob rotated will have flames at a perfectly selected height and heat emitting from the hearth almost instantly. With any gas fireplace a manual control valve is operated like a barbecue. However, remote control options provide transmitters that function like a hand-held remote, wall switch, automatic thermostat and with a timer.

Building a Fire

wood pile in the snow

It’s a cold trip to the woodpile in the snow!

The wood burning fireplace must be built with lighter kindling setup around and below wood chunks stacked below the logs that will be burned. A wood fire must begin with a single flame nursed to the point that kindling burns and grows to burn chunks that burn to ignite actual heat producing logs. Wood fires are never easy to start and a poorly stacked fireplace can ignite, and go out only to be rebuilt until it burns properly to ignite the fireplace logs.

In the winter, a person will need to go out and pick up wood and kindling to build a fire and keep it going. While that might not be too bad in 50 degrees, when it is snowing or a blizzard outside it might become a problem. With a gas fireplace there is no need to worry about tracking down wood as long as gas is running into the home.

Ventilation

chimney

Wood burning fireplaces and vented gas log fireplaces both require a chimney or similar ventilation to remove dangerous chemicals created by burning fuels.

Wood burning fireplaces and vented gas log fireplaces both require a chimney or similar ventilation to remove dangerous chemicals created by burning fuels. Direct vent and B-vent gas fireplaces are capable of safely venting through horizontal ventilation flues that offer interior design versatility unavailable with wood burning fireplaces that can only vent vertically. Ventless gas fireplaces are capable of burning in a reduced vent or vent-free environment by minimizing carbon emissions and detecting oxygen levels within the control valve.

While wood burning fireplaces were a great item in their time they don’t hold up to the efficiency that a gas fireplace can offer. If your having either type of fireplace installed, consider a stress-free remodeling company to help improve the entire room from floor to ceiling.

Ventless Gas Fireplace Basics

It is much easier and more attractive to use ventless gas fireplace logs today as safety and log designs have become much more realistic. During the coldest winter months, sitting next to a fire serves both aesthetic psychological warmth and real physical warmth. Electric and gas heaters offer no character and are hideous boxy structures tolerated for the warmth they bring. The same natural gas or propane BTU’s running through a gas log fireplace brings warmth with the augmented interior design of the fireplace design enjoyed year round.

Ventless Gas Fireplace

In the past, having a chimney and proper ventilation was the only way to enjoy the benefits of a fireplace. Dangerous creosote build-up, hazardous fumes, variable flame control valves and spark arrestors were completely necessary to enjoy a fireplace. Wood storage and the scorpions, snakes and bugs that live in stored wood were acceptable annoyances; part and parcel of enjoying the year-round hearth. New advancements in technology now allow a ventless gas log fireplace without dangerous safety concerns and without compromising the beauty and added décor a fireplace adds to any room.

A ventless gas log fireplace creates the warmth and the design of a conventional fireplace without the need for a chimney. Vent-free gas fireplaces are one of the more energy efficient options due to BTU limits that maximize heat retention. There are a large number of choices regarding style, size, color, “wood” selection, non-traditional modern designs and valve controls including remotes and wall-switches for all gas fireplace burners.

Gas log fireplaces in general have easy to use controls that include simple igniters similar to a gas range and gas bbq grill. Ventless gas log fireplace burners are almost always used indoors and tend to use variable remote controls, wall-switches and thermostatic controls that could not last long outdoors. Indoors and lacking a flue’s pull most vent free gas fireplace burners utilize a standing pilot to avoid relighting the burner for each use. Remote receivers are cleverly hidden inside hollow ceramic logs and decorative pine cones. Logs are hand-painted for a maximum attempt at realism.

The ventless gas log fireplace offers an efficient and instant solution for a heat source without the complex designs necessary for vented gas fireplaces and wood burning fireplaces. Set up and installation are so easy that homeowners deciding on a ventless gas fireplace with access to a gas line could decide to purchase a fireplace for a room and be enjoying the hearth that evening. For the homeowner deciding to use vent free gas logs the solution is an effective source of heat because although gas volume is limited there is nowhere for heat to go but inside the home.

Vent-free gas log arrangements combined with BTU limits make gas fireplaces very clean with low fumes resulting from fuel consumption. Other power sources like electricity or batteries are not necessary. Additional features for gas log fireplaces are conveniently available that may use other energy sources but gas is inexpensive everywhere.

Easy installation of ventless gas logs primarily means there is no expense for installation of a chimney. Building a traditional fireplace generally includes a construction firm for building once a design is provided. An engineer or architect is sub-contracted to make plans submitted to the city bringing an inspector to the site. Once approved the design is built but a separate permit, inspection and license is needed to cut through a roof and re-seal a roof around a fireplace vent. Again: design, plans, city, construction and inspection. The process can become very expensive. Many homeowners value the wood burning fireplace with crackling flames, popping sap and real woodsy smells over the expense. New-construction makes the process easier but an existing home will spend a lot of money building an indoor fireplace.

wood burning fireplace

A wood burning fireplace will often have a steel flue running through the chimney often built to mimic a rustic appearance. Above the home a termination cap spreads emerging heat and fumes while displacing falling rain or dirt. A wood burning fireplace with a damaged flue can be very expensive to repair as the rustic décor is dismantled rock by rock looking for the faulty seal and it has become typical to install vent free gas logs into existing fireplaces rather than incur the expense of repairing or cleaning chimneys with broken seals or clogged with deposit from years of burning gases and wood.

The vent free gas log fireplace simply needs some space in a room and a gas line. Installing ventless gas logs in a home without a fireplace includes purchasing a vent free firebox, building or buying a mantle and the gas logs with a burner, valve and logs. The vent free firebox is designed to refract heat and protect any materials used in the construction of a wall or fireplace mantle around the vent free firebox. Sitting in front of a fireplace we only see the inner firebox decoratively lined with brick pattern. With a protective vent free gas log firebox a fireplace mantle can be constructed with drywall, wood or cabinet particle board which would otherwise be in danger of burning.

Ventless gas logs are designed to burn safely in the home with no ventilation or reduced ventilation and must always have an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) and a thermocouple to ensure against gas dangers. A manual safety pilot contains a continuously burning flame which can be extinguished during long periods of unuse. The pilot light allows a fireplace control valve to turn the fireplace burner off and on without the use of an ignition and properly primed thermocouple every time the fireplace is enjoyed. Manual control valves work very much like the valve used to control heat on a barbecue grill and are cheaper than valves with a remote.

The remote safety pilot uses a remote transmitter to turn a valve open or closed, on and off using a hand held remote like a television control. The pilot stays lit and the manual valve spins at the behest of the remote transmitter and a receiver hidden within the fireplace. Finally some ventless gas log fireplace remote controls use a variable valve that can control how much the valve spins open and closed providing flame height adjustment via remote transmitter. Wall switches and thermostatic controls are remotes that operate on an on/off fireplace valve with high and low setting manually pre-set on the valve of the fireplace.

As with anything, it is always wise to exercise caution. Always read the operation manual and ensure the ventless gas log fireplace is properly installed within the insulated ventless firebox. Learning about the risks is one of the best ways to prevent accidents. Vent-free gas log fireplaces have become very ornate with decorations rivaling the realism of vented gas fireplaces and wood burning fires. In addition ventless gas log fireplaces have recently evolved into the contemporary designs of the modern home with fire effects that do not strive to mimic to appearance of wood but enhance the beauty of light with crushed colored fire glass and both natural stone and geo-metric shapes. The growth is tremendous because the vent-free gas log is safe, economical and effective for both its beauty and pragmatic use as a heater for the home.

When And How To Service Your Gas Heating Appliances

Late Fall: time to cover the outdoor grill, in most of the country. It’s also a great time to have the barbeque serviced, so it will be ready to go next Spring.
gas heating appliances

It’s also time to think about your fireplace insert or gas stove. If you’re planning to be indoors for the next few months, you’ll want to make sure that your indoor hearth is as safe and clean as possible.

Gas fires burn cleaner than wood, which emits polluting smoke and lots of greenhouse gases. One sign of the difference is that gas stove chimneys typically do not require cleaning as long as the burner is correctly adjusted, while wood fire chimneys should be checked annually for soot and creosote buildup that can cause chimney fires. So your chimney should be fine – as long as your gas fire is operating properly.

A gas fire or other hearth appliance can provide a beautiful and warming focal point to a living room or bedroom. But as the price of fuel continues to increase, you’ll want to be sure that your gas fire is delivering all the heat you paid for. This is not a DIY project. Whether your fireplace or stove burns natural gas or propane, it’s a precision instrument that requires special tools and factory training from the manufacturer to make sure that it is burning fuel cleanly and efficiently.

The safety of your family and home are at stake, so don’t put them at risk by playing with fire: hire a qualified service person. Hiring an NFI Certified Chimney Sweep is the best route to go to ensure effective maintenance and your own safety.

Only a select few retailers have NFI Certified Specialist on staff. The National Fireplace Institute is a non-profit agency that operates independently of manufacturers to create standards for certification of installers, designers and service technicians. NFI certification is your assurance that the person working on your gas heating appliance has passed a rigorous exam. You should also ask about factory training by the manufacturer, since every make and model of gas heater is a little different.