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Choosing the Right Gas Fireplace

Gas fireplaces have come a long way; instead of fake flames and only a handful of choices, homeowners now have a wide variety of realistic gas heating appliances to choose from. As the National Association of Homebuilders has found that fireplaces are the second most popular home feature, installing one in your home can add significant value.  Choosing the Right Gas Fireplace IMG- Ann Arbor MI- Clean Sweeps of Michigan-w800-h597

With so many kinds of gas fireplaces on the market today, however, it can be difficult to find the right fit for your family. By working with true fireplace experts instead of employees at a big box store, you can rest assured that your new fireplace will fit your home’s style and heating needs.

The kind of fireplace you choose will be determined by any existing fireplaces in your home, your heating needs, as well as personal preference. There are three main categories of gas fireplaces: vented, direct vent, and vent free.


Vented gas fireplaces use a traditional chimney or venting system for exhaust. Gasses and other byproducts of combustion [] from the fire travel up the chimney and vent safely to the outside of your home; this makes them the ideal choice for homes with existing hearths. Vented gas fireplaces are often the best choice for homeowners who have a wood burning fireplace but want to switch to the efficiency and ease of use that gas provides. Because the byproducts of combustion for a gas fire are much different than those for wood burning fires, your existing chimney may need to be relined in order to vent efficiently.

Direct Vent

Direct vent fireplaces also vent the byproducts of combustion from your gas fire to the outside of your home; in these fireplaces, as two-layer pipe goes directly from the exterior of your home to the fireplace without drawing any air from inside your home. This unique venting system [] virtually eliminates any chance of gas or carbon monoxide backing up into the home. Direct vent gas fireplaces are typically installed on exterior walls for easy venting.

 Vent Free

Vent free gas fireplaces are unique in that they are not permanently installed in one place; because they do not require venting systems, these fireplaces can be moved around as needed and installed anywhere in the home. This allows homeowners to heat specific rooms or areas as needed without committing to installing a permanent gas fireplace.

As with many heating appliances, there are recommended usage rules for vent free gas fireplaces. Because the oxygen for the fire is drawn from your home, most manufacturers recommend keeping a nearby window open when the vent free fireplace is in use. Likewise, these fireplaces should not be used for long periods of time and should be serviced regularly to reduce the risk of gas or carbon monoxide leaks.

Picking the right gas fireplace can help keep you and your family warm and cozy this winter. For more information on what fireplace is right for you, visit the fireplace store at Clean Sweeps of Michigan today!

There is No Such Thing as a Standard Gas Log

There is No Such Thing as a Standard Gas Log - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of MI

Sweeps America Bedfor Char Vented Gas Log

Whether you want to install a brand new fireplace or are interested in switching fuel sources, finding the right gas log can be difficult. Many homeowners mistakenly believe that there is a “standard” gas log that will fit all fireplace units; however, this is not the case.

There are a number of variations and options when it comes to gas logs. In order to find the gas log that best fits their needs, homeowners should consider all of their options and consult with a fireplace professional before making a purchase.

Types of gas logs

There are two kinds of gas logs – vented and vent free.

  • Vented: Vented gas logs are connected to a venting system such as a chimney or flue. This allows the fireplace to draw air from the outside during the combustion process; while this creates a more complete burn and a hotter fire, it can also lead to some heat being lost up the chimney. Vented gas logs are most often used when a gas log is being installed into an existing fireplace.
  • Vent free: Vent free gas logs are self-contained combustion systems do not require any connection to outside air. Because of this, they can be placed virtually anywhere in the home. However, vent free gas logs do not create realistic flames and may impact the air quality in the home when used for long periods of time.

Within both of these types of gas logs, three main materials are used to create the logs: bisque ceramic clay, molded ceramic fibers, and molded refractory cement. These differences in materials create different burn patterns and wood looks; gas logs are available in a number of different wood styles such as oak, birch, or hickory. This allows homeowners to select a gas log that more closely resembles the wood burning fire of their choice.

Fuel options

Homeowners have the choice between either natural gas or propane for their gas log. While natural gas is more widely used, propane can be used in areas where natural gas is not an option. When operating a propane gas log, however, the standing pilot light option is required. Both fuel options for gas log fireplaces have low operating costs. Natural gas fireplaces typically cost between $0.60 and $1.50 per hour to operate, while propane costs between $0.75 and $1.75 per hour to run.

No matter what fuel source they use, most gas logs are designed to burn dirty. This means that the gas log burns with incomplete combustion in order to create a more realistic yellow flame similar to those created by wood burning fires.

Gas log size

The size of the gas log varies by manufacturer and model. Most sets range in size from about 12 to 60 inches in width. The size of the unit you need will depend on flue size. When selecting a vent-free gas log, the size of the unit is dependent on how big of an area in your home you want to heat.

Since there are a number of available options, there are no “standard” gas logs. Because of this, working with a fireplace professional is often the best way to find the gas log that is right for you. Contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today and let us help you find your new gas log!

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