Gas Burning Appliances are Popular Today
Imagine walking in the door of your home on a blizzardy wintry evening and lighting a fire in the hearth by remote control with the ability to choose a setting that would quickly warm up the room to a comfy temperature. This is just the type of convenience that has attracted many homeowners to gas burning appliances—from gas stoves and gas log sets to manufactured fireplaces and gas inserts.
Along with sparing you the hassle of building a fire out of real wood that has to be chopped, split and stored, gas burning appliances are user-friendly heating alternatives with unrivaled features, high-efficiency and a low environmental impact. If you are wondering if one of these is right for your home, check out these answers to the most common questions about gas burning appliances!
What are the advantages of a gas burning appliance over a wood burning appliance?
The 3 most common reasons that homeowners choose a gas burning appliance over a wood burning appliance are:
1) Energy Efficiency – Since gas ignites immediately and burns completely, it is more energy efficient than wood, has a greater heat output and can be controlled more easily. Though technology today has increased the energy efficiency of wood burning stoves and inserts to an average efficiency of 70%+, gas burning appliances on average have efficiency ratings of 80%+.
2) Versatile Installation – There are far more flexible venting options for both gas burning stoves and fireplaces because gas is clean-burning. Gas stoves can be vented through a wall instead of just through the ceiling and require a less cumbersome ventilation system than wood burning stoves. Gas fireplaces can be even more versatile depending on whether you choose a zero-clearance fireplace or direct vent fireplace. A zero-clearance fireplace is designed so that it can be installed in a framed wall safely nestled right next to combustible materials. This would not be possible with a wood burning fireplace. The versatility of gas burning appliances allows you to have them installed in any room of your house as long as there is an available hook up to a gas line.
3) Variety of Options & Controllable Features – Gas fireplaces, inserts and stoves are all available with more easy-to-use options and stylistic variations than other fuel-burning appliances. Whether you want to zone-heat one floor of your home or simply improve the aesthetics of a room, you will be able to find a gas fireplace that is the correct size and style with convenient features that will meet your needs and fit your lifestyle. There are remote control operated models, models with thermostat control or models that can be turned on with just the flip of a switch. Along with choosing the features you desire, you can customize the exterior design and the look of hearth allowing you to fully customize your fireplace, stove or insert to suit your aesthetic sensibilities.
Are gas burning appliances safe and environmentally friendly?
Yes. Whether you choose natural gas or propane to fuel your heating appliance, it will burn cleaner (or release less combustion by-products into the atmosphere) than a wood, pellet or coal burning fireplace, stove or insert. Unlike wood or pellet appliances, it will not cause deposits of creosote to build-up in the chimney or flue which will lower the chances of a chimney fire since this highly flammable tar-like substance produced by burning wood and wood by-products is the leading cause of chimney fires. It also eliminates the risk of house fires from hot ashes that have been improperly disposed of since gas burning appliances do not produce ash.
What’s the difference between a gas fireplace and a gas stove?
A gas stove is free standing while a gas fireplace is built into the wall. The advantage of investing in a gas stove is that it radiates heat from all four sides whereas a fireplace only radiates heat from the front. Though both can be used to zone-heat your home, stoves can often heat a larger area more effectively. Since they are both excellent alternative heating sources, for many homeowners, the decision comes down to aesthetics. With a gas fireplace, in addition to the fireplace itself, you can also add a mantle and surround that transform the fireplace into a more impressive focal feature. Whether your primary goal is to improve the ambiance of a room by adding a fireplace or install an attractive alternative heating source, both gas stoves and fireplaces are available in a wide variety of sizes and designs to compliment your homes décor.
Can I use gas logs in my existing fireplace?
Gas logs simulate the look of a traditional fireplace without the hassle of cutting wood, making a fire and cleaning out ashes. While gas logs are capable of producing a substantial amount of heat, due to Wisconsin State Code that mandates that all gas logs be vented for safety concerns, most of the heat they produce will be lost up the chimney just as it would be if you were burning firewood in a traditional chimney. They are still an elegant, hassle free addition to an empty hearth. Whether or not you can have gas logs installed in your fireplace depends on the type of fireplace you have and whether or not there is an available gas line to tap into. Gas logs can be used in most traditional wood burning fireplaces and some wood burning stoves or prefabricated fireplaces. If you would like to use gas logs in a factory built heating appliance, you should check the appliance’s manual to see if it states that it is compatible with gas logs. Gas log sets should always be installed by a certified professional, just like any other gas burning appliance. If you do not know if you fireplace is compatible with gas logs, one of our technicians may be able to find out for you.
Hopefully, this information will help you decide if a gas burning appliance is right for you. If you have more questions, please stop by our location to speak with one of our knowledgably staff members at Burlington’s. We can give you more information and show you a variety of gas fireplaces, stoves, inserts or gas logs so that you can see for yourself how easily they operate. You may be amazed at how beautifully and realistically today’s gas fireplaces and stoves can emulate the look of an authentic wood burning fire.