The Attraction of Owning a Gas Fireplace
Gas fireplaces have increased in popularity over the past few years. For many homeowners, the attraction of owning a gas fireplace lies in the following:
The convenience of an on/off switch and an ever-present fuel supply
The cleanliness factor (gas fireplaces generate no mess in terms of ashes, wood chips, bark, etc.)
The elimination of chimney cleaning
The safety of sealed combustion units, which offer little chance for toxic combustion gases to spill into the room
The environmental benefits as compared with those of a conventional wood fireplace
Although gas fireplaces have been around for a few years, many homeowners disliked their “fake-looking,” uninteresting flames. To counteract this negative perception of gas fireplaces, manufacturers have devoted much effort to producing a yellow flame that more closely resembles the flame of a wood-burning fireplace, yet is still clean-burning. As well, other aesthetic improvements have made gas fireplaces much more appealing to homeowners.
However, not all gas fireplaces are created equal. Some designs are extremely efficient, safe to operate and provide a lot of heat. Others can be very inefficient, and vent-free technology can cause indoor air-quality problems.
It pays to be an informed consumer. By knowing what to look for and what to avoid, you can select a gas fireplace that will suit your home’s decor, contribute to its heating needs and give you peace of mind.
Excerpt from “All About Gas Fireplaces”, Office of Energy Efficiency Natural Resource Canada. http://www.citygreen.ca/cgFiles/gas_fp.pdf