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Gas vs Wood-Burning Fireplaces

A lot of homeowners like to shop for new fireplaces in the spring and summer because of the deals found during the off-season months. At Aelite Chimney Specialties, our staff loves helping our clients find the most perfect fireplace for their homes, and we are often asked the following question: “Which fuel type is the best: gas or wood?” We feel both choices are excellent, but there are a few distinct differences between gas and wood-burning fireplaces that can determine the best fuel type for your home. Knowing these differences will help you make the fuel type decision for you, so we would like to give you a few questions to ask yourself about your dream fireplace.Gas & Wood Fireplaces Options Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney Specialties

How important is convenience to you?

If you are looking for a fireplace that is easy to use, you might consider a gas fireplace. You will have very little trouble getting a fire started because you can turn on the fireplace by flipping a switch or pushing a button on a remote control from your couch. However, if you enjoy building a wood fire, you probably will not mind the igniting process involved with a wood-burning fireplace. This process includes getting firewood from your outdoor storage, arranging the wood in the fireplace, placing kindling on top, light the fire, and maintaining it.

How concerned are you about fuel costs?

If you are on a budget, wood is much less expensive than natural gas. You can even chop your own wood for free! While natural gas is typically lower in costs than electricity, its price fluctuates. You should also consider if you have an existing gas line to your home because it can be expensive to install a line for your fireplace.

How much maintenance are you willing to do?

When you have a wood-burning fireplace, you will have a list of chores you must do. This list includes properly storing your firewood, bringing the wood into your home for each fire, and sweeping up ashes after every fire. Burning wood also produces creosote, which is a natural compound that accumulates on the interior walls of your chimney. Since creosote is extremely flammable, you will need to have your chimney professionally swept at least once a year. If you are looking for a low-maintenance fireplace, you will want a gas fireplace because it requires no chores like the ones involved with a wood-burning fireplace. Even though gas burns much more cleanly, you still need to schedule an appointment for an annual chimney sweeping and inspection.

How important is the sensory experience of a fire to you?

If you love hearing the sounds, smelling the scents, and watching the beauty of a fire, you may not be satisfied with a gas fireplace. Even though you can find gas fireplaces with very natural looking fires, only a wood-burning fireplace will provide you with the sensory experiences that you want.

Considering updating your fireplace? Contact us at Aelite Chimney Specialties to learn more about the differences between gas and wood-burning fireplaces.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Gas vs Wood-Burning Fireplaces

Why Convert to Gas Logs?

Is your wood-burning fireplace adding to much work for you? Here's the solution: Gas Logs!

Is your wood-burning fireplace adding to much work for you? Here’s the solution: Gas Logs!

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you may love having the traditional wood fire with its aroma, fiery heat, and crackling sounds; however, you may dislike having to clean up the mess after the fire, hauling firewood from the outdoors to your fireplace, and dealing with creosote build-up in your chimney, a fact of life when you burn wood. Fortunately, there is a solution: converting to gas logs. You will increase your energy efficiency, reduce clean up, and be able to control your fire with a thermostat. Fairly inexpensive to install, Aelite Chimney Specialities carries both ventless and vented gas logs and has certified installation experts who can fix up your old wood-burning fireplace and convert it into a gas fireplace for you, giving you convenience and energy-efficiency.

According to the article “Hearth and Home: Converting that wood-burning fireplace to gas,” in the Albany, NY area newspaper, The Times Union, wood fires actually do not heat your home. Instead, they suck out up to 300 cubic feet per minute of warm air that goes out your chimney. Wood fires also expose you and your family to dangerous toxins like carbon monoxide, respiratory irritants, and carcinogens. They also contribute to air pollution, and you have to worry about creosote building up in your chimney, which can start a chimney fire. However, you do not have to give up on your fireplace completely, especially when you have options to easily convert to a gas fireplace by installing gas logs.

When it comes to gas logs, you have two options:

vented gas logs

Budget-friendly, these gas logs look realistic because they mimic many different species of wood and have convincing flames with embers. Convenient as there is no chopping or stacking wood or clean up involved, some models come with remote-controlled ignitions and adjustable flame control. One thing to consider with vented gas logs, they have the same open combustion as wood, so you have to watch out for the same dangers and health hazards as with wood. Whenever you burn a fire, you must keep your damper wide open, and manufacturers even recommend keeping a window open while using gas logs. Another danger with vented gas logs, older or defective logs can diffuse explosive gas into the air.

ventless gas logs

Banned in some municipalities and even in some countries, ventless gas logs are not really ventless. Not only do they take away air from the room, but they also return vapors and irritants back into it. Some stores will not even sell this type of gas logs because they can cause condensation on your walls. This can cause toxic fungus and even mold to grow in your home. However, ventless gas logs are affordable and easy to install, and even though they do not give you a realistic, roaring fire, they will provide supplemental heat. If you are aware of the dangers and hazards, ventless gas logs are an economical and simple way to convert your wood-burning fireplace into a gas fireplace.

If you would like to learn more about converting to gas logs, contact us at Aelite Chimney Services. Our knowledgeable staff can consult with you on the differences between vented and ventless gas logs and help you decide which is best for you.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Why Convert to Gas Logs?