Heat with Firewood or Gas

What could be better than a roaring fire on a cold night? Let’s consider a fire that needs no tending, requires minimal cleanup, and provides heat for you home. That’s what you get with today’s gas fireplaces. Modern versions are very realistic. They have glowing red embers and tall orange-yellow flames that dance and flicker around ceramic-fiber logs molded from the real thing. This month we want to introduce you to whats possible for you today with gas inserts.
Gas fireplaces provide a reliable source of heat and add beauty to a room design. You have three basic options for a natural gas or propane-fueled fireplace — gas logs, gas fireplace inserts or a free standing stove. They all produce heat and help a living space feel warm and inviting.
Fireplace Aesthetics
One of the big differences between gas-log fireplaces and gas-insert fireplaces is aesthetic appeal. Even though gas logs are synthetic, they look similar to solid wood logs and appear more authentic than inserts. Vented gas logs sit in your existing masonry fireplace and can be covered with glass doors, similar to natural wood-burning fireplaces. Gas inserts have a more manufactured design. You can see the flames inside the inserts, but they are permanently sealed with a glass face. Some manufacturers offer gas-insert styles that have andirons or doors, but they are for physical appearance only.
Heat Efficiency
Gas inserts are more efficient than gas logs. Because gas inserts are covered in glass, they require less gas and therefore less heat escapes . Vented gas-insert fireplaces are approximately 80 percent efficient.
Cost Comparisons
Unsurprisingly, the more efficient the fireplace, the lower the operating cost. Gas-insert fireplaces cost approximately 40 to 45 cents per hour. Fluctuating natural gas and propane prices can affect those averages, but comparisons between gas-log and gas-insert operational costs remain the same.
Wood-burning fireplaces provide great ambience, but they can’t beat the easy, no-fuss efficiency of gas.

  • You don’t have to split, stack, season, or haul logs.
  • There are no ashes to bag, no smoky smells, no flue to clean.
  • You can start, adjust, and snuff out fires with the touch of a remote control.
  • The fire needs no tending and won’t die out from neglect.
  • A thermostatic remote or wall switch can control the flame size—and therefore heat output—to maintain a specific temperature setting in the room.
  • The fixed glass panels covering the gas insert ensures that the furnace- or boiler-heated air in the rest of the house doesn’t escape up the flue, as it does with a wood fire.
  • You can get as much as 75 to 99 percent of a fuel’s energy back as heat, instead of the 10 to 30 percent for wood fires.
  • Gas insert fireplaces can go almost anywhere—in an upstairs bathroom, bedroom or basement, without the typical draft concerns that these areas normally present.

Please call us to assess what is best for you and your house at 781.893.6611.
 

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