What Is a Gas Fireplace Insert? And Does Your Montco Home Need One?
Unless your Montgomery County home was built within the last 10 years or so, there’s a better than average chance that you’re the proud owner of a fairly traditional, old school fireplace. You know the type: They come compete with chimneys. They actually burn real wooden logs.
And make no mistake: There is quite possibly no home accessory more intimately romantic than a genuine wood-burning hearth. But here’s a 100-percent-true fireplace fact you might not know: Traditional fireplaces are horribly inefficient when it comes to heat.
What’s Wrong With Traditional Fireplaces?
Sounds a bit illogical, right? But think about it this way: Fireplaces operate by pulling warm out of the room they’re in, and into the fire itself. A good deal of that heat then disappears up your chimney. And if your home is even the slightest bit old, some of the heat from your fire will dissipate into the masonry of the fireplace and the chimney itself.
The efficiency of older fireplaces, in fact, has been estimated by industry trade groups at anywhere between 5 and 10 percent. And that’s not good.
Thankfully, there’s a solution. It’s known as a fireplace insert.
In the simplest of terms, a fireplace insert is a fireproof box made of steel or cast iron that gets placed inside — or inserted into — a traditional hearth. The front of the insert is covered with insulated glass.
There are a few different types of fireplace inserts: gas, electric and wood, to be specific. But the gas fireplace insert in particular has become an increasingly popular consumer choice.
What Are the Benefits of a Gas Fireplace Insert?
Why have gas fireplaces become so popular in Montgomery County and beyond? For one thing, they’re incredibly efficient; most have energy efficiency ratings at around 80 percent.
They’re also less expensive to run than their much less authentic electric fireplace counterparts, which don’t even burn fuel. But perhaps more importantly, they’re also uncommonly simple to care for and maintain.
Aside from wiping down the glass door with an occasional spritz of Windex and keeping any vents clear of dust and debris, the beauty of a gas fireplace insert is that you can more or less forget about it once it’s been installed.
The installation of your gas fireplace, of course, will need to be handled by a specialist, who will connect your new unit to your home’s gas source.
But after you’re up and running, operating your fireplace is really as simple as pressing a button to turn the fire on, and another to turn it off. There are no wood logs to buy, which means there’s no smoke or soot, which means there aren’t any ashes to clean up.
A gas fireplace insert, in other words, gives you all the ambiance and atmosphere of a classic living room fire, but without any of the work, hassle or potential dangers that come along with a traditional hearth.
Still Have Questions About Fireplace Inserts?
We specialize in gas inserts here at Estates Chimney, where our 15 team members have more than 100 collective years of experience in the professional hearth industry. We’ve been selling, installing and servicing fireplaces of all sorts for many years.
In the meantime, we’ll leave with you a few more facts about the convenience of installing a gas fireplace:
- Because gas is such a clean-burning fuel, your chimney won’t need to be cleaned.
- No chimney in your home? No problem. With a gas fireplace insert, you only need vents.
- Gas fireplaces give off huge amounts of heat, which can easily lead to big savings on your cold-weather heating costs.