Looking for a Convenient & Efficient Way To Heat? Consider Gas Logs

The busy lifestyles of today can make enjoying a wood-burning fireplace a little more difficult. They do require more time and work than many of us are willing (or even able) to sacrifice no matter how nice that cozy fire is. For this reason, gas logs have become more and more popular in recent years.

Gas Logs

There are some marked benefits to using gas logs in your fireplace. For starters, there’s the convenience — in most cases, you’ll have a fire going with just the flip of a switch, and certain models have a remote control for even more convenience. Gas logs are also comparably clean, since you won’t be carting and stacking wood or cleaning up ash.

Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps’ technicians have installed gas logs into existing fireplaces all over the upstate area, and we’ve found that our customers really love being able to use their fireplace without the time, effort, and cleanup required with a wood-burning appliance.

Different Types of Gas Logs

Simple gas log sets (which normally include a burner pan, gas valve, ceramic or foam logs and optional remote control) are designed to burn either propane or natural gas, and you’ll mainly see two types on the market that can use either type of gas. There are vented and vent-less (vent free) options that are meant to be installed in open hearth fireplaces. There are also Direct Vent gas log inserts (sealed box with stationary glass front) designed to slide into an open hearth fireplace.

Each type has pros and cons. 

Vent-less gas logs vary as to what the manufacturer says is necessary around fireplace or chimney requirements, but are generally designed so that they don’t need to be connected to a venting system or chimney.  If your chimney does not meet the requirements for proper venting, vent-less gas logs may still be an option that will allow you to enjoy the warmth and convenience of a gas fire. Vent-less units also direct more heat into the room, since heat isn’t escaping up the flue.

However, since we have already learned elsewhere on this site that all fire has by-products of combustion, these by-products (some emissions and lots of moisture) will come into the home along with that heat. For healthy folk the levels emitted are not considered a threat. Yet, some older folks or folks with respiratory issues (i.e. asthma, bronchitis, COPD, etc) find that they experience irritation with the “ventless” gas appliances. Also these units, generally speaking, cannot be operated safely around the clock. So they are not the best option for back up heating if the power goes out.

NOTE:  While we service ventless/vent-free appliances when they need service or repair, we do not sell or install ventless/vent-free appliances of any kind.

Vented gas logs are meant to be used in a fireplace that has a fully-functioning chimney, so that gases can be carried out of the home (up through the chimney) — as they would be with a wood-burning unit. Vented gas logs often look more realistic, with a wider and fuller flame. As mentioned, with vented appliances, the by-products of combustion exit the home via the chimney and never enter the home. These have similar efficiency to a wood burning fireplace, however with limited or not ability to vary the size of the fire.

Direct Vent appliances, sometimes called balanced flue, takes combustion air from outside and exhausts flue gases to the outside as well. No air is taken from the house or is exhausted into the house. This makes for the best efficiency in a gas hearth appliance.  This can be a full time heat source with thermostat control — plus the aesthetics of a gas log look. While blowers are available, these units work well without blowers, so are an excellent option for back up heating in case the power goes out.

Gas Logs Are Impressively Realistic

Most of today’s gas logs are constructed out of a refractory cement or ceramic material and are designed to mimic the look of real wood, from realistic bark to imperfections that look like hand-split timber. You’ll be impressed with how well your gas logs match the cozy look of a real wood fire (particularly if you opt for a vented log set) — And you won’t have to haul in wood and build the fire every time you want to use the fireplace.

Like All Heating Appliances, Gas Logs Require Regular Maintenance

In order to avoid damage and keep your heating appliances working efficiently, regular maintenance is a must. We recommend having your gas logs annually inspected and serviced to ensure that everything is functioning properly. The best time to get this done is right before the burning season begins. This is a good time to get that pilot lit if you need help with that.  

We also recommend having a carbon monoxide detector installed nearby, particularly if your log set is vent-less.

To have gas logs installed or serviced, turn to Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps. Schedule this annual maintenance the year before to beat the pre-season rush.

We’re here to “Bless Your Hearth”! Call or click here to make an appointment, today!

 

If you need a chimney sweeping, then our chimney and fireplace services professionals are the ones to call.