Whether as a heat source or just for ambiance, gas-burning fireplaces are becoming increasingly popular. With the flip of a switch, you can sit back and enjoy a cozy, warm fire without the effort and messiness of real logs or smoke and fumes. Gas fireplaces burn with up to an 85 percent efficiency rating, meaning very little pollution. Good for you, your home, and the environment. Gas fireplaces are now designed to visually simulate a real-wood-burning fireplace so that many people can’t even tell the difference. They have the glowing red embers and orange flames that normally accompany a wood fire. While gas fireplaces don’t produce odors or smoke, their flames do create pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen, and sulfur oxides. Vented fireplaces send these pollutants outside, while vent-free fireplaces blow them into your home.
There may not be the nostalgic pop and snap of a real fire, but what you lack in ambience, you gain in extremely clean, versatile warmth and cost-effective convenience. There are also a wide variety of fireplace designs and installation options available. You can choose the design that best fits your home and your budget. Stop by or call our showroom in Ponderay, The Stove Corral, to learn more about your fireplace options. You now have the ability to install a fireplace in more rooms than ever before including your outdoor living space.
There are basically three types of gas fireplaces: inserts, built-ins, and log sets.
Inserts are a log-and-burner set that sits inside a metal box that, in turn, sits inside another metal box which is inserted into an existing fireplace. The insert warms the room air that’s in the gap between the two boxes. It then radiates this warmed air from the firebox (the fireplace hole). Inserts are very reliable heat producers. Holes need to be drilled for the electrical or gas lines, and the insert needs to be properly vented as there is a fixed glass panel in front of the flames.
Built-ins are similar to the insert in that they have a box-within-a-box construction, but built-ins don’t need an existing fireplace or chimney. They can be installed most anywhere. With vented units, they cycle the air and exhaust through an exterior wall opening. Like the inserts, the vented units have a fixed glass panel, also like the inserts, built-ins are reliable heat producers.
ir time indoors but don’t know that indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outside air. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has indoor air quality ranked as one of the top five environmental dangers to public health. It is linked to severe asthma and allergy development in children and to heart problems and lung cancer in children and adults.
Log sets are the least expensive option and are usually designed more for looks than warmth. Ceramic logs are intentionally stacked in your existing firebox with a gas burner. Installation only consists of drilling access holes for the electrical or gas lines. For your safety, we recommend vented units and in the case of vented sets, the fireplace damper needs to be open at all times to prevent CO poisoning. This option can be a drawback, as much of the heat goes up the flue.
All three of these options offer design choices. One such choice is an alternative to the logs themselves. Many people in North Idaho, are now choosing these alternatives for a new and different type of look. Some examples of these log alternatives are tempered glass chips, ceramic lava rocks, ceramic river stones, and driftwood looks. These options represent a different aesthetic from traditional, to rustic, to contemporary, each providing you with ideas for creating your dream fireplace. For more information, visit our showroom in Ponderay, The Stove Corral, to learn about current fireplace options and turn to High Mark Heating & Cooling for expert installation, venting, and maintenance.