More and more of our chimney customers in Charlotte and the surrounding areas are opting to convert their old wood-burning fireplace or stove into a gas-burning unit. Gas logs and gas fireplaces are convenient, but they do need service from time to time to keep them well maintained and operational. For homeowners who still want the charm of a fireplace but no longer want to scoop ashes or deal with the hassle or expense of chopping, hauling, or purchasing logs, there are several cost-effective options available to you.
OPTIONS FOR CONVERTING TO GAS
Every year the technology of gas-burning heating appliances evolves so that there are now more options than ever—options that produce more realistic flame patterns and that provide very real warmth. In all of the following scenarios, you’ll need to have a gas installer run a gas line to your fireplace. Each of the following options comes with an accompanying set of advantages and disadvantages. To get exactly the fire you want, it’s important that you discuss with one of our technicians what your wishes are for a fireplace, whether they be for aesthetics or warmth. Your budget will also figure into the decision.
- VENT-FREE GAS FIREPLACE UNITS: This type of system—also referred to as “room vented” or “unvented”—operates with the chimney flue closed, which keeps all the heat generated inside your home.
- VENTED GAS FIREPLACE UNITS: This kit uses your chimney to vent your fire’s byproducts and will most closely mimic the experience of a wood-burning fire.
- GAS LOG SETS: Gas logs can be used for both vented and vent-free applications. Whether you’re switching for the added convenience or the environmental friendliness, we have a gas log set that’s sure to please.
The guidelines for servicing each different type are somewhat different. If a model has a standing pilot—one in which the pilot light stays on all the time—then the most important regular service item is the pilot assembly. Some units have a pilot light that’s only on when the unit is in use, whereas others use electronic ignition to light the burner directly without a pilot system at all; these won’t need servicing quite as often. If the pilot assembly is at least five years old or if you live close to salt water, this method likely won’t be as effective as it once was, leaving you needing to seek professional assistance!
Owens Chimney Systems is happy to inspect your current unit and to outline your options for you. Owners of old homes usually opt to convert their existing fireplace opening into a gas burning unit so that they won’t have to make any structural changes, meaning their home’s original fireplace will be preserved. Also, it is often the case that older fireplaces require a lot of expensive repair work to bring them up to code.
Converting to a gas-burning system is often the least expensive way to get a safe working fireplace once more. A professional, who can ensure that your fireplace is connected properly to maximize safety, efficiency, and enjoyment, should only undertake installation of any of these systems. Want to schedule a consultation with Owens Chimney Systems? Call us at 704-554-9595. Following the installation of your gas fireplace or gas log set, you will be able to count on our team to maintain and service your new system throughout its life.