Heating with Gas: Insert or Logs?
After doing the research and debating between models you’ve decided that a gas fireplace is the right choice for your home. Now your face with another decision: should you use gas logs or a gas insert? And what is the difference between the two, anyway?
Gas logs are as close to a real, wood-burning fire as you can get. A gas burner made in to the shape of a log, they look like wood and give off a realistic wood fire flame. But, gas logs also consume excessive gas (one-half gallon or more per hour) and a majority of the heat goes back up the chimney. This happens because the damper must be open to vent the fumes.
The use of vent-free gas logs is discouraged, because although the damper can stay closed, the fireplace can become overheated and potentially cause a fire. Even in the best of scenarios, vent-free logs can push fumes and excessive moisture in to your home.
An insert is essentially a stove that’s surrounded by steel or cast iron and has an insulated glass window to prevent the chimney from sucking heat out of your home. Some inserts have a blower that pushed hot air back in to the room. The inserts are placed directly in your existing fireplace.
Perhaps the biggest benefit to installing a gas insert is they’re energy efficient. Inserts average 75 - 80 percent efficiency, similar to a gas furnace. They consume less gas than logs (one-third gallon or less per hour on average) and in smaller homes can be used as the sole source of heat. Gas inserts are non-electric and can be used as a back-up heater if the power goes out. They can also be thermostat controlled for even heating.
A benefit to gas inserts is that gas companies and government localities on occasion offer rebates and other incentives for installing or upgrading to high efficiency gas appliances.
The experts at Fireside Home Solutions can help you decide which heating source is right for you. They’re also up to date on the latest regulations, rebates and incentives for fireplace installations and upgrades. To schedule a free, in-home consultation, contact Fireside Home Solutions.