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Should I Use My Gas Fireplace?

Gas fireplaces can help efficiently heat your home, so it’s time to fire it up!

There’s nothing  better than a roaring fire on a wintry night, except a roaring fire that needs no tending, requires minimal cleanup, and doesn’t leave the rest of the house freezing cold.  

Gas fireplaces have come a long way from anemic blue flames and unconvincing “logs.” These fires now burn more realistically, with glowing red ember flames that caress realistic logs, molded from ceramic.

There are currently 3 types of gas fireplaces available:

  1. Class B Vent (Natural Vent) Fireplaces: This is a conventional gas fireplace. They require a through-the-roof flue, or conventional chimney,  to carry away hot combustion gases and typically feature operable doors. These are the least efficient models, but still effective.
  2. Direct-Vent Fireplaces: These are the most popular type of gas fireplace used today. The air to feed the flame enters from the outside and they have an exhaust vent  to direct the products of combustion back outdoors. These have a high efficiency; 70 percent of the heat they generate remains in your home.
  3. Vent-Free or Ventless Fireplaces: Air from inside the house is taken into the firebox, where it is used for the fire. The byproducts are then exhausted back into the house. The recycling of air allows ventless fireplaces, which do not need chimneys or an exhaust,  to achieve efficiency ratings of more than 99 percent.  The gasses that are vented into the house are completely safe and ensure that no warmth is escaping to the outside.

When it comes time to light the fire, there are a few different ways that can happen, depending on your fireplace unit.  The easiest is a switch, similar to a light switch, that is installed with your fireplace unit.  On some models, there will be a pilot light and an ignition.  If you are having trouble starting a fire with your ignition, the pilot light may be out and you will need to relight the pilot light.  The safest way to figure out how to light your fireplace is to read the manual at home, or look up a copy of your manual online.

The reasons to use your gas fireplace are numerous. Energy-conscious consumers can use gas fireplaces to optimize their heating efficiency. Utility bills are lower when you turn down the thermostat on a central furnace and use the gas fireplace as a supplemental heat source. Highly efficient gas fireplaces can heat up to 1,000 square feet of living space at low cost.  

Call Action Air to set up an appointment, we can help keep your furnace running efficiently and our technicians can help answer all of the questions you have concerning your gas fireplace.  They know when to use it, and how to optimize your fireplace’s efficiency.  Remember, when you need action call Action Air!

Sources:
New York Times
This Old House
HGTV
Angie’s List