Environmental Chimney Sweep Inc.

Converting Your Wood Burning Fireplace to Gas


Tired of sweeping out ash, and conscious of the added expense of wood burning fireplaces, many homeowners are choosing to convert to gas. More efficient and less trouble, glass fronted gas fireplaces keep warm air in the house and cold air out when they are not in use. Cleaner, safer, and more economical, gas fireplaces can be a better option, and can provide the same ambience as a wood fire without the smelly smoke and combustible by-products.

Wood Fireplace to Gas Logs - Baton Rouge LA - Basic Chimney Sweep

Definitely a job to be handled by chimney professionals, perhaps the most difficult part of a fireplace conversion is getting gas to it. A separate gas line has to run from the meter to the fireplace, with flex line, cutoffs, and a sealer at junctions. Furthermore, air has to be bled from the lines and the natural gas has to be pressurized to state-dictated levels. The farther the fireplace is from the gas source, the more complicated the task.

Prior to the conversion, the chimney should also be cleaned by a professional chimney sweep. He can insure that nothing is blocking the chimney and deal with any creosote that has accumulated inside the flue. Maintenance will be much easier with gas logs than with a wood fire, but the usual concerns about nesting birds and critters still apply.

The most important decision for homeowners to make is the type of gas fireplace they wish to install. Both vented and vent less gas fireplaces are available, each with drawbacks and advantages. Municipalities may regulate this choice, sometimes requiring vented fireplaces, which reduce the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning.

An unvented gas fireplace does not lose heated air up the chimney so it does a better job of warming the room. However, an unvented gas fire can only burn for a few hours at a time, since both moisture and exhaust gases are given off and build up. Although they are more costly, vented fireplaces produce prettier fires and are still energy efficient, sealing heat behind glass doors and often blowing it into the room.

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