Your Questions Answered: Gas Fireplace Conversions
Learning more about the fireplace conversion process is important to finding out if this remodeling project is the right one for you and your home. Below I answer some of the more puzzling questions homeowners have on the issue.
What is it?
Simply put a gas fireplace conversion involves changing your fireplace’s fuel from wood to gas. There are many approaches to how this can be accomplished. Gas logs is the popular options and the one right for you will be dependent on your budget, existing unit, and personal preference. Keep in mind gas lines will often needed to be added as well.
How long does it take to install?
If you decide to convert your fireplace using fireplace inserts you may see a completed project in as little as day. With gas logs looking more realistic as ever with many options to choose from, this may be a great choice for those under a tight time constraint. If you can lend more time to the project, a gas fireplace insert can take anywhere from a couple days or longer depending on your existing structure. Often residents will choose to complete a surrounding remodel during the fireplace conversion and this may add more days to the total.
Can I complete the work myself?
The main opinion within the fireplace industry is that a quality gas fireplace conversion is NOT a do it yourself type project for a number of valid reasons. First, especially with older homes, a gas line installation is typically needed for the project to be complete. An expert with experience in the field is necessary when running these lines for the home. Second, the contractor will have the know-how and tools required to make sure the insert is installed and fitting properly. These are both critical to efficient production of heat, keeping energy costs low, and similarly providing a lasting unit that will withstand years of use. Finally, hiring a contractor makes the work get done on time and in budget. Partnering with a professional will keep the cost of wasted or unused material to a minimal while virtually eliminating any type of learning curve on your part.
What other benefits are there?
There are many other perks to enjoy when completing this conversion. Convenience is one benefit that is most sought after by homeowners alike. Having an on/off switch to allow you to easily start and end your warm fire is important for those pressed on time. Many also enjoy the cost savings on their energy bill. It is much more energy efficient than their masonry counterparts. They also can warm a room for a mere $.50 per hour allowing the residents to lower the heat in other rooms not being used at the time.
Is it safe?
It is very safe when comparably to a wood-burning unit. It create no creosote, the chimney clogging by-product of burning wood fires, and do not produce any hot amber that can burn your family or furniture. Also studies have shown that gas fireplaces do not seem to create any more carbon dioxide in the home when used. Homeowners can also take comfort in the many safety features that a gas fireplace insert can provide. For example a safety pilot turns off the unit if the fire gets too hot or there is too much of an increase in carbon monoxide within the fireplace.
So is gas fireplace conversion right for you? I hope these answers to some of the most common questions about the issue help you make the right decision. Whether you convert or not is totally up to you!