As the hassle of dealing with kindling, logs and ash gets less appealing, more customers are contacting us looking for information about converting their hearth to propane fireplace. People who don’t have a chimney are excited to learn that the dream of a cozy fireplace can come true. Not only are propane fireplaces good looking and easy to install almost anywhere, they’re a great option for supplemental heat!
One of the most common questions that people have is how long you can run a gas log. The answer is that it depends on whether your log set is vented or vent free.
Direct vent and vent-free gas fireplace technology are both great ways to add a gas fireplace even if you don’t have a chimney or flue. All that’s needed is access to propane gas.
With direct venting, a single dual-chambered pipe is installed directly through a wall to the outdoors. The pipe simultaneously draws air for the fire from the outdoors, while it expels the fire’s combustion byproducts to the outside. That means you can run a vented gas log set virtually as long as you want.
You can also convert traditional fireplaces to a maintenance-free propane hearth with a gas log insert. The existing chimney is used to vent combustion gases up and out—and, like a direct-vented set, you can run it as much as you want.
Ventless models have a regulator that produces a fine gas-air mix that allows the gas to burn cleanly, producing minimal fumes associated with traditional gas fireplaces. However, because there’s no vent, it’s not recommended to run them for more than a couple hours at a time.
There has been buzz in the media about gas cooking stoves and fireplaces emitting harmful pollutants such as carbon monoxide. But the fact is that burning anything will produce carbon monoxide and particulate matter. Another concern is about the amount of methane—a potent greenhouse gas—being released from natural gas sources indoors, in cooking stoves as well as gas fireplaces. However, propane does not contain methane and is not a greenhouse gas!
If you are planning to run your vented gas logs a lot, the real question is should be whether a propane fireplace is efficient to run. The good news is that that propane fireplaces run at about 80 percent efficiency—which makes them four or five times more efficient than a wood-burning fireplace.
Today’s propane logs use a remote control and a thermostat that lets you dial up the heat you want—which is great not only for controlling temperature, but for controlling your propane use. Those electric igniters are also more efficient than a standing pilot light.
Another feature you don’t get with a wood fireplace are multispeed blowers that push warm air into the room, providing better, more even heat—especially in larger spaces like great rooms.
Lastly, they let you spend time enjoying time with family and friends, not tending a fire—how efficient is that? Stop by our showroom to explore beautiful options from all the leading brands, and let our expert team help you select the best type of propane fireplace for your southwestern Virginia home. Contact us for more information today.