Gas Fireplaces 101

Stay Warm and Cozy This Winter with a Gas Fireplace

Having a fireplace in your home during the colder months is one of the best ways to keep the house warm and cozy.

If you have been thinking about installing a gas fireplace in your home or you just want a little more information about your current one, please continue to read. Here we discuss a few of the most important points about a gas fireplace in your home.

You must remember that not every gas fireplace is the same.The vast majority of fireplaces are clean and offer an energy-efficient way to heat the home. Gas fireplaces produce less smoke and carbon dioxide than a traditional wood-burning fireplace.However, this does not mean that every gas fireplace is going to work the same. There are some gas fireplaces that are simply decorative, while others can warm the home. The best way to tell the difference between the two is by comparing the efficiency ratings.

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Bigger Is Not Always Better

Having a fire in the home during the cold months is a great source of heat and comfort. However, an out of control fire can be rather disconcerting and make the house too hot. This is true when you have a small fireplace, but the output is overwhelming.As with a typical HVAC system, there are a number of factors regarding the size of a gas fireplace and how much heat it can put out. One must consider the size of the home, insulation, how well the house is sealed, as well as other factors. When these factors are accounted for, a properly sized gas fireplace is possible to meet up to half of the house’s heating needs.

Vent Options

There are actually four available options when considering ventilation for your gas fireplace.

A direct vent is quite possibly one of the best options as this is going to send all of the pollutants and smoke up through the chimney. For homeowners with an airtight home, this is an essential element to ensuring that your gas fireplace is venting safely.

A natural vent fireplace will take and release combustible air through a pipe that leads into a venting system or chimney. This is a less expensive option due to the fact that it is less versatile with airflow issues.

A vent free fireplace is one of the most energy-efficient vents available and are perfect for heating the home. There is no need for a chimney in order to keep the smoke at bay and they can be placed anywhere in the house. If you desire a high quality of air, a vent-free system comes equipped with a sensor that will shut the unit off if oxygen levels fall below a certain point within the home.

One of the least common types is the fan-powered vent which is used to enhance air exchange. These types of vents can be installed in rather uncommon areas of the home such as a freestanding wall.

Each of the above options will depend upon your heating specifications as well as budget. Factoring into this equation is the size and age of the home as well. It is best to consult with a professional like those at JD Swallow before you choose a specific venting option.

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Year-Round Care Is Essential

While a gas fireplace is not going to be as messy as a traditional wood-burning fireplace, they do need to be kept clean for an efficient burn. You will want to clean the soot off of the logs and vacuum out any dust and ensure all of the glass parts are properly cleaned as well. Be sure that you avoid using any chemicals while cleaning the gas fireplace. It is best to use a product that is designed specifically for gas fireplaces or just a warm soapy water mix. You can ask a fireplace installation expert about the best cleaning products as well as recommendations on cleaning. Additionally, mark your calendar to have a complete inspection done every single year which includes a thorough cleaning.

Time To Tune-Up

Gas fireplaces are energy efficient and safe for heating the home. As with any HVAC system, a yearly tune-up is required to ensure that everything is working as it should. Schedule an appointment with one of our professionals to guarantee that your unit is safe, clean, and ready to heat through the winter. New fans and ceramic logs can be installed to ensure the unit is operating at peak performance.
One of our priorities is to ensure that your gas fireplace is maintained and safe. Contact us today to discuss the available options for ensuring a warm and cozy home this winter.

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