Is it Easy to Convert a Wood-burning Fireplace to Gas?
Common reasons homeowners want to convert their traditional wood fireplaces to gas include the fact that gas fireplaces burn cleaner, cause less mess and are easier to operate than wood fireplaces. The truth is, it’s a lot easier to convert a traditional wood fireplace to a gas fireplace than the other ways around. However, there are a few things you should know before you make this decision.
First, have an inspection
Before doing any reconfiguring of your fireplace, it’s a smart idea to have the entire system inspected by a professional. This will uncover any damage you don’t know about and let you get it fixed before making the change.
Gas log sets come in vented and non-vented styles. With vented logs, it’s important to ensure that your chimney is working properly and free of damage before firing up your new fireplace.
To operate a gas fireplace, you’ll obviously need a gas source. If your home is already equipped for natural gas, an HVAC service tech or plumber can run the correct size line to your fireplace. If your home doesn’t have gas service, your next option is to purchase liquid propane, which will be housed in a storage tank adjacent to your house. With this setup, all you have to do is watch the tank levels and have it refilled when needed.
Vented logs vs. non-vented logs
This is an important decision. As the name implies, vented logs require a vent system (the chimney, when converting an existing wood fireplace to gas), while non-vented logs operate without a vent.
The primary differences are that vented logs produce a more realistic fire appearance but don’t supply as much heat as the non-vented variety. If your primary objective in running a fireplace is ambience, vented gas logs might be the best bet. If it’s heat you’re after, look into non-vented logs.
Be prepared to spend between $300 on the low end and up to $1,000 for high-end log sets, regardless which style you buy. It may seem like a lot of money, but gas log sets last a long time and end up paying for themselves and more over time, compared to the cost of load after load of fire wood.
When converting from wood to gas, you may be able to do some of the work yourself, but if you’re not clear on a particular aspect of the project, bring in a professional who’s experienced in making a conversion from a wood fireplace to a gas-burning unit.
Chimney Solutions of Alpharetta, GA, is ready to help with a thorough fireplace and chimney inspection, necessary repairs and the complete installation of your new gas log set. Our technicians are certified chimney sweeps who know fireplaces inside and out. Call (770) 691-6707 with questions or to schedule an appointment.