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Converting Your Fireplace to Gas

More and more of our chimney customers are opting to convert their old wood-burning fireplace or stove into a gas-burning unit. 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.

Have questions about gas logs? We’re the people to ask! Call Aelite Chimney at (815) 363-1242 now!

Have questions about gas logs? We’re the people to ask! Call Aelite Chimney at (815) 363-1242 now!

Aelite Chimney Specialties is happy to inspect your current unit and to outline your options. 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 gas is often the least expensive way to get a safe working fireplace once more.

3 Options for Converting Fireplace 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 its own 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 Kit: This type of system—also known as “room vented” or “unvented”—operates with the chimney flue closed, which keeps all the heat generated inside your home.

Vented Gas Fireplace Kit: 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 Kit: Gas logs can be used for both vented and vent-free applications.

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. Do you have additional questions? Contact us here. Following installation of your gas insert or gas logs, you will be able to count on our team to maintain and service your gas fireplace throughout its life.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Converting Your Fireplace to Gas

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?

How to Increase Energy Efficiency at Home

Make your home one that is energy efficient. Don't allow your electric bill to consume all your hard-earned money.

Make your home one that is energy efficient. Don’t allow your electric bill to consume all your hard-earned money.

During the warmer months, it’s somehow easier to ignore the importance of increasing energy efficiency in our homes. But there’s something about winter in northern Illinois—brutal and seemingly ceaseless—and the fact that we need to constantly run our heat at full blast that make us and our customers painfully aware of poor energy efficiency. If we’re not aware, our energy bill will serve as a reminder of how many of our hard-earned dollars we may be hemorrhaging from leaky windows and doors, uninsulated or poorly insulated attics and basements, and an uncapped chimney flue. Aelite Chimney Specialties can help you make improvements to your fireplace, stove, and/or chimney so that your heating appliance will not be to blame for so much of your energy loss.

4 Quick Facts About Energy Efficiency in Illinois

  1. The graph showing electricity price history in Illinois over the past 10 years shows a steady increase, meaning that if pricing continues to increase at the same rate your electricity bill will only get worse every year—unless you take matters into your own hands.
  2. In January 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was passed. This Act includes the Energy Efficiency Tax Credit Extension. By implementing eligible measures in your home, you can receive a 10% tax credit up to $500.
  3. Luckily for you, because we live in a state that must endure frigid temperatures each year, we have lots of organizations devoted to helping residents reduce their electricity bill, improve their energy efficiency, and find rebates, incentives, and financing. For instance, Energy Impact Illinois will come to your home to conduct a free home energy assessment (valued at $400).
  4. According to Power2Switch.com, only .8 percent of Illinois residents are completely green, while 16.4 percent are partially green and 82.8% rely on traditional energy. However, it’s now possible to power your home entirely with electricity that’s been created by wind farms and solar panels. For information about how to lower your energy bill in Illinois, you may want to look into Power 2 Switch, which enables you to compare electricity providers and choose the best rate and plan for you—for free.

How Aelite Chimney Can Help Your Energy Efficiency

Fireplaces and stoves have a not-always-accurate reputation of saving homeowners money. In fact, these appliances and their chimneys can allow enormous amounts of energy to escape from the home. This doesn’t have to be so, however. There are a number of different ways that Aelite Chimney can help you make your heating appliance more efficient and save you money on your energy bill each month, including:

  • Install a Damper on Your Chimney. The most surefire to keep your conditioned air from escaping your chimney is to install a top-sealing damper at the very top of your chimney. This damper will remain tightly closed anytime your chimney is not in use. You can read all about chimney dampers on our dedicated page, where we explain just how dampers work.
  • Replace Your Old Wood Stove or Fireplace with an Energy Efficient Unit. Did you know that a new model stove or fireplace can be as much as 50 percent more energy efficient than your old model and uses 1/3 less wood for the same heat? According to the EPA, “ Older stoves that were manufactured before 1990 burn wood inefficiently which wastes firewood, pollutes the air in your neighborhood and creates dust inside your home. Newer stoves can reduce smoke and dust, as well as cut heating expenses. There are many cleaner, energy saving options, ranging from gas to high-tech wood stoves certified by the EPA.” If you’re interested in a replacement appliance, we’ll be able to help you assess what type of appliance will work best for your home and family.
  • Repair and Sealing Cracks in Your Chimney, Fireplace, or Stove. Even older model appliances can be made to be more efficient with some simple weatherproofing. However, the fact that the chimney is enclosed and hard to access can make even simple weatherproofing far more complex. Our chimney technicians are happy to take care of it for you, and we can show you the results of our work with a closed circuit camera. You can read all about our chimney repair and restoration services here.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Aelite Chimney with questions about how to have a more energy efficient Illinois home. Reach us by calling (815) 363-1242.