Winter nights, with a fire blazing, snuggling with your loved ones – everything is perfect – until you realize you have to stay awake until the embers completely die down. So much for warmth and romance! But, if you had a Gas Fireplace Insert installed by High Mark Plumbing, you can have a romantic, warm cozy night by the fire – every night!
How Does a Gas Fireplace Insert Work?
The firebox is surrounded by a steel shell. The entire unit is inserted (hence, the name) into your existing masonry fireplace. The products of the gas fire’s combustion are vented through a flue that is usually run up the existing chimney. Within the firebox are decorative, ceramic logs that allow you the coziness of a real wood fire. The actual flames are created through gas jets beneath the ceramic logs.
Once you ignite the gas flame, cool air is drawn from the room. When the air is heated, it is then passed back out the top of the firebox into the room. The air is actually drawn into the space between the firebox and the steel shell. This means that no heated air is lost out the chimney! There are some models that incorporate a blower fan to push the heated air into the room.
What are the Benefits of a Gas Fireplace Insert?
1. Efficiency – up to 90% of the air heated is transferred back into the room. With a traditional masonry fireplace, less than 10% of the heated air is actually retained in the room – up to 90% of heat from a traditional fireplace goes right up the chimney!
2. Green – burning natural gas is by far the cleanest source of heat. A traditional wood burning fireplace emits particulates, creosote and other debris that pollutes the air. Many cities have banned wood burning fireplaces to reduce pollution. Also, consider the trees that are not being harvested to heat your home.
3. Clean – with no ash and debris to clean, gas fireplace inserts not only burn cleaner, they do not require the arduous tasks associated with a wood burning fireplace. For example, there are no concerns with chimney fires from creosote build-up and no ashes to clean on a regular basis.
4. Convenient – gas fireplace inserts allow you to have a virtually instant fire. No kindling, paper and intricate stacking of progressively larger logs to sustain the fire. Once you are finished with the fire, switch the gas off and you can go to bed! No waiting for the fire to die and losing what little heat you’ve gained out the chimney. No more falling to sleep in a cozy, fire lit room, only to wake to a sub-zero breathe condensing icebox!
5. Versatility – there are numerous design choices to suit any decor. You can retain the charm of a traditional masonry fireplace without the mess.
How do I Choose the Best Gas Fireplace Insert for Me?
The cosmetics are so varied that you can most certainly find a style that suits your design aesthetic. There are some functional design considerations that must be determined before you make the purchase:
- Venting – the Vancouver Gas Fireplace Experts at High Mark Plumbing can help you determine which vent option best suits your needs: direct venting; indirect venting; or B-venting.
- Efficiency – as with any appliance, the greater the efficiency, the less fuel the gas fireplace insert will consume. Remember that although as the efficiency increases, so too, will the initial cost of the insert. It is crucial that you consider the cost to own the insert while remaining within your budgetary constraints.
- Ventilation – the Gas Fireplace Installation Specialists at High Mark Plumbing will assure that your room has sufficient ventilation to install the insert safely. It is essential that the “ventless” type inserts are equipped with an Oxygen Depletion System (ODS). The ODS shuts off the gas supply should the Oxygen level drop by more than two percent.