Like gas logs, gas inserts can be installed in an existing pre-fabricated or masonry fireplace and ventilated through the existing chimney. Gas inserts are furnace-rated appliances, which means that they can be used as a zone heater focused on heating a specific area or your home. Gas fireplace inserts are installed as a sealed system with a glass door. As a sealed system, no air from inside the home will escape through the fireplace or chimney, making this fireplace option more energy efficient. A gas insert also features a blower that pushes warm air into the room for more powerful heating, as opposed to just radiating heat out naturally. As a result, gas inserts are much more efficient heaters than gas log sets, with efficiency rated between 70%-85%.
Gas inserts are available in a variety of sizes and heating capacities, so you can purchase and install one that suits the heating needs of your specific living space. Typically, gas inserts are capable of heating spaces that range between 1,000 and 3,000 square feet. An added benefit of gas inserts is their safety, with direct-vent gas inserts being the safest. Direct ventilation draws air from outside of the house to operate and directs any gases or moisture generated by the fireplace out through a ventilation system (rather than a traditional chimney). Air quality in your home is most secure with a direct-vent gas insert. Once installed, gas inserts require little maintenance other than an annual service check-up.
While gas inserts are more efficient, it is important to consider the following:
- Gas inserts are more expensive to purchase and install.
- While more efficient, ventless gas inserts may compromise the quality of air in your home. (This is the reason many homeowners opt for direct vent systems.)
- Gas insert installation may require gas plumbing modifications prior to installation.
When shopping for a new gas fireplace solution, it is essential to do your research as it relates to building codes so that you install the proper system in your home. This is especially important when it comes to ventilation. If not properly vented, a gas log set or ventless gas inserts may emit gases and moisture into your home, which puts you at risk for dangerous carbon monoxide levels.
If you are interested in simplifying your home heating method or upgrading and updating your fireplace by installing gas logs or a gas fireplace insert, you will experience the convenience and luxury of enjoying the warmth with the touch of a button.