Gas fireplaces are a popular item in homes across America. There are several differences between gas fireplaces and traditional wood-burning fireplaces. Gas fireplaces can increase the heating efficiency of a home. There are several types of gas furnaces on the market but according to Bob Vila, direct-vented gas fireplaces are the most efficient. Gas fireplaces are directly connected to the gas supply in a home.
Read More These fireplaces typically employ ceramic pieces that are shaped to resemble wooden logs, according to Consumer Reports. These "logs" are engulfed in flames at the flick of a switch. Gas fireplaces can be constructed with or without a chimney or venting systems.
Perhaps the biggest, and most obvious difference between gas fireplaces and wood-burning fireplaces is fuel. While wood-burning fireplaces are fueled by a supply of wood, tinder and kindling, gas fireplaces are fed by gas. A gas fireplace can burn anytime by turning it on as long as the gas-feed to the fireplace remains operational.That being said, there remain three types of gas fireplaces including inserts, vented and unvented.. Type of home and available space dictates which type of gas fireplace is ideal for a consumer's situation. Inserts are engineered to fit into existing wood-burning fireplace openings and vent through existing chimney systems. Vented gas fireplaces feature a vent that goes from the fireplace through the wall of a home, directing the emissions outside--this type of fireplace is convenient because it requires no chimney to operate. Unvented gas fireplaces are fitted against walls or into walls. This type of gas fireplace draws air from within the room, warms the air, and recirculates it.
According to Consumer Reports, fireplaces that feature no chimney or venting systems can be dangerous because they emit pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed near gas fireplaces to protect families against the health threats posed by carbon monoxide. Consumer Report's 2008 estimates claim that properly sized and constructed unvented gas fireplaces distributed up to that year generally do not pose health risks to consumers; however, they can contribute to overall indoor air pollution.