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Fireplace Conversions

As we turn the clocks back and head into the cold of winter, you’ll want to think about gas fireplace inserts for your Pittsburgh home. The roaring fire warms your home from the inside out. You may be considering converting an existing wood burning fireplace to a gas fireplace. Converting to a gas fireplace is more convenient and efficient! Gas fireplaces burn cleaner, are easier to maintain, and take almost no time to start a burning fire!

Before Converting

There are a few things you will want to do before converting to a gas fireplace. First, you will want to have a chimney sweep conduct a chimney inspection to clean out any creosote build-up and repair any damage to the masonry or flue. Repairing any damages is especially important if you opt for a direct vent insert or vented gas logs because they require working flues.

The next thing you will want to do before converting to a gas fireplace is the make sure you have the right sized gas line for accurate gas flow. This will need to be properly installed and be the correct size for the BTU rating of the gas insert or gas log sets.

Choosing Gas Logs or an Insert

Gas Insert

Gas inserts are made to fit right into your existing fireplace opening. They are finished to make the installation appear seamless. For this option, you will need a chimney lined with stainless steel chimney liner to ensure safety and efficiency.

Direct Gas Vent Insert

Similar to traditional gas insets, the direct gas vent insert features a fully sealed firebox and venting system. This type of insert needs a vertical, co-liner venting system – this venting system has one pipe that pulls in fresh air for combustion and the other pipe exhausts combusted gases. With a full flame appearance and 85% efficiency, this is the best option for individuals with chronic lung issues.

Vent Free Gas Inserts

Designed for prime heat output, this type of insert doesn’t require the chimney and comes in two forms: a whole unit with gas logs included and a standalone box that fits into an existing fireplace opening with logs purchased separately. Vent free gas inserts burn at almost 100% efficiency.

Zero-Clearance Firebox

A zero-clearance firebox is mostly used for new builds as they are built to fit exact frames. They are not recommended for installation into an existing firebox.

Vented Gas Logs

These are the best option as vented gas logs offer an affordable alternative to traditional wood fireplaces. They come with a glowing ember bed, giving off the full-flame presentation. Vented gas logs need to be used with a functional chimney. They do however require the chimney damper to stay open which means most produced heat is lost.

Ventless Gas Logs

As a supplemental heat source, ventless gas logs are designed to burn at 100% efficiency. Ventless gas logs don’t require venting as there is no smoke to exhaust. While it looks authentic, it offers a smaller flame presentation in comparison to vented gas logs.

For more on gas fireplace inserts in Pittsburgh, contact Ed’s Woodshed in Bridgeville to receive full-service assistance on your fireplace needs. Ed’s Woodshed has been serving the Pittsburgh area its high-quality fireplaces for over 35 years. Call Ed’s Woodshed at 412-257-0492 for your fireplace insert needs!

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