Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between vented and vent-free appliances?
A: Vented units' by-products must be exhausted outdoors. The most common type is a vented log set in an existing fireplace. In this application, you would be interested mainly in aesthetics, some heat. The flue must be used in exactly the same way as burning wood (completely open during burns.) Vent-free products do not require venting at the source, but rather need adequate ventilation to the living space. These clean burning appliances give you better than 99% return on the heat produced.
Q: Can I install a fireplace, where none exists, without breaking down a wall?
A: Absolutely! Freestanding fireplaces can go right up in front of a wall, and most need no clearance. They can be contained in a cabinet - it is just like adding a piece of furniture to your room.
Q: I've been told I need a gas insert, but this seems so drastic. What are my options?
A: Gas inserts are a huge decision to make. Any insert, essentially, robs you of the beauty of the existing fireplace. These appliances are five-sided metal boxes with a sealed glass front, and they detract from the look of the fireplace by closing it in. They must be vented through a chimney or wall. We usually recommend them when only a vented appliance is being considered, and your firebox or chimney is in some way damaged or compromised and cannot safety handle anything that produces by-products. In most applications, a log set will accomplish the desired goal at less than half the cost of an insert, without giving up the look of the fireplace.
Q: What, exactly, is a gas log set?
A: These consist of a burner assembly and logs, and take the place of wood in a fireplace. The logs are made of ceramic or ceramic fiber, and do not actually burn. They can be put into an existing, wood burning fireplace (conversion) or a prefabricated firebox that is rated for their use. They are an easy, economical way to add a real fire to any room in the house.
Q: Must I wait for a "cool down" period after turning off a gas fire?
A: No way! Off means off - just like a light switch. You can burn a fire right up until bedtime with no worries. Only home for an hour in the morning? Have your coffee fireside every day if you choose.
Q: I want to burn wood, we get lots free. What is a log lighter?
A: Gas log lighters are a small burner that sits under your log grate. They eliminate the need for kindling by allowing you to light your wood with a direct flame. These are a great feature - particularly in new construction where a gas line is already in place. They're a super selling point for resale, and for those who prefer wood but may wish to switch to gas later.
Q: How long will a gas product take to heat up?
A: No time at all, literally. They require no warm up period. This is instant heat on demand (vent-free), or to quickly help a heating system with a specific living space (vented) making them a fantastic choice for vacation homes, infrequently used living spaces and Florida/three-season rooms. Inexpensive gas space heaters, while not particularly attractive, are excellent for basements, garages, sheds, and places where aesthetics aren't an issue.