Fireplaces create a cozy and warm atmosphere in your living area and nothing beats the crackle and snap of burning wood on a cold, winter night. But many homeowners tire of the effort required to maintain a wood-burning fireplace, including hauling or stacking wood and cleaning up ash afterward. If you are considering switching to a gas fireplace, read on to learn more about gas logs versus gas inserts before you make your purchase. Either product will certainly be more convenient, enabling you to heat your home with the flip of a switch.
Gas logs are decorative in nature. This style of fireplace is designed to look like burning wood and can be installed in your existing fireplace opening. Many homeowners like the realistic look of the fire logs and the ease of using the gas logs, which can be operated manually using a wall switch or remote control. Gas logs will also emit more heat than a wood-burning stove. Gas logs are less expensive than gas inserts, which is helpful if you are working within a budget when upgrading your fireplace.
While gas logs produce ample heat and have aesthetic appeal when producing a nice flame, it is important to consider the following:
- Gas logs are only about 10%-20% efficient, with the majority of heat produced escaping through the chimney. (The same is true with a traditional wood-burning fireplace.)
- Gas logs must be installed in an existing, working fireplace opening – meaning the fireplace masonry and chimney need to be in good working order.
- Air quality in your home can be compromised if your gas log set isn’t vented properly.
- You may need to purchase additional materials, such as glass doors, to complete the installation. This is an important, and sometimes mandatory, a safety feature.