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Now Is The Time To Get A Gas Fireplace!

Fireplaces are one of the most desirable features your home can have. In fact, according to the National Association of Homebuilders, fireplaces are the second most requested home feature for both buyers and builders. Having a functional, modern fireplace in your home can add value – as well as enjoyment for your family!

Whether you have a wood fireplace that is underutilized, want to add a heating feature to your home, or have an existing out-of-date gas fireplace, now is the perfect time to get a new gas fireplace.

Why choose gas?

While many homeowners associate fireplaces with burning wood, gas is an increasingly popular choice.

The following are five reasons to switch to a gas fireplace this summer:

  1. Increased efficiency.
    Gas fireplaces and inserts are the most efficient heating appliances on the market today. Most gas fireplaces burn with as much as 90% efficiency. This ensures that the gas being used is heating your home, not being lost up the chimney.
  2. Save time and space.
    Wood and pellet heating appliances require more upkeep than their gas counterparts. Switching to gas can reduce the amount of time spent cutting, stacking, and storing fuel and the space used to store wood and pellets.
  3. Decreased air pollution.
    Burning gas produces little to no smoke and emissions. Because of this, gas fireplaces are ideal for families with respiratory issues, such as allergies or asthma, that wood smoke may aggravate.
  4. Ease of use.
    Gas fireplaces are extremely easy to and can literally provide heat at the push of a button! This makes them ideal for busy families who want to enjoy their fireplace whenever possible, even if for just a few minutes at a time.
  5. Choices in styles.
    There is no one size or style for gas fireplaces. Instead, homeowners can pick from styles ranging from the traditional to the ultra-modern. It is even possible to customize the “wood” of the gas logs in the fireplace!

Types of gas fireplaces.

There are three main types of gas fireplaces. The type of gas fireplace you choose often depends on factors such as heating needs or the presence of any existing fireplaces. The following is a brief explanation of the pros and cons of the three types of gas fireplaces.

  • Vented.
    Vented gas fireplaces use existing chimneys to vent and draw in outside air. These fireplaces are often used when a fireplace is converted from wood to gas. However, the chimney may need to be relined if the fuel source is changed.
  • Direct vent.
    Direct vent gas fireplaces use a small, two way pipe to vent directly to the outside of your home. Since the chance for carbon monoxide or gas buildup is virtually eliminated, they are extremely safe. Many direct vent fireplaces need to be installed directly on an exterior wall.
  • Vent free.
    Vent free gas fireplaces do not require any outside venting. This allows them to be installed and used virtually anywhere in your home. Manufacturer’s instructions for use should be carefully followed to prevent a negative impact on air quality.

Don’t wait until fall to start thinking about a new gas fireplace. Contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today for more information on installing a new gas fireplace in your home!

How to Turn your Inefficient Fireplace into an Efficient Alternative Heat Source

efficient_fireplace_clean_sweeps_of_MI_ann_arbor_MIAccording to the National Association of Homebuilders fireplaces are one of the top three features new home buyers look for in a home. A warm, crackling fire is a welcoming and inviting addition to any living space during the cold months of winter. What many homeowners fair to realize, however, is that their fireplace may actually be losing more energy than it is creating.

As fireplaces and chimneys age, they may become more inefficient. As the warm air from a fire rises, cold air from outside can flow in, filling the room and negating the effects of the fire. Thankfully, there are several products available to homeowners to help improve the efficiency of their fireplaces, making them excellent sources of warmth all winter.

Fireplace inserts 

For many homeowners with traditional, wood burning fireplaces, a fireplace insert represents a low maintenance, high efficiency replacement option. Fireplace inserts are glass-fronted fireproof boxes that create a closed combustion system, trapping the hot air created by a fire before it can escape up a chimney. Inserts are able to efficiently heat a room, especially with the addition of a fireplace blower.

While fireplace inserts have traditionally been exclusively gas, they can now be powered by several different fuel sources including electricity, wood, pellets, or coal. This wider variety of choices gives homeowners the ability to choose an insert to better meet their needs. Although inserts are considered to be the most energy efficient choice for fireplaces, only inserts approved by the Environmental Protection Agency should be installed in residential homes. The EPA designation ensures that the fireplace insert has undergone rigorous testing regarding both its safety and efficiency.

Dampers 

Dampers, or the metal plate that separates a fireplace from the rest of the chimney, are designed to have a snug, airtight seal. Over time, dampers may lose their original seal, allowing cold air or moisture to enter a house through the chimney. Because they are exposed to both hot and cold air – as well as the elements – it is recommended that dampers should only be repaired or replaced by licensed professionals.

While closed dampers can prevent unwanted cold air from entering a room, dampers should always be left open when a fireplace is in use. Doing this prevents smoke and other harmful gasses from entering the home, allowing them to travel safely up the chimney instead.

Firebacks 

Sometimes seen as only decorative, firebacks are large metal pieces placed at the back of a firebox. The primary purpose of a fireback is to reflect heat back into the room, preventing warm air from travelling up the chimney and out of the room. In addition, firebacks protect the fireplace masonry from damage from long-term exposure to fire and heat. Because of the ease of installation and the number of different styles they are available in, adding a fireback is a fast and easy way to improve the efficiency of an existing fireplace without undertaking a major remodel.

Fireplace doors 

Professionally fitted fireplace doors are an attractive, decorative way to seal their fireplace when not in use. Like firebacks, fireplace doors are available in a number of different styles and finishes, giving homeowners the ability to choose a style that fits their décor and budget.

Similar to the damper, fireplace doors should always remain open while the fireplace is in use. The primary way they improve efficiency is through a combination of preventing cold air from entering and warm air from leaving when the fireplace is not in use.

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