While many individuals stick to the traditional wood burning fireplace, some worry about the ill effects these fireplaces on the environment as well as health. Wood burning fireplace are harmful to the heart and increase risks of being exposed to toxic byproducts like carcinogens, carbon monoxide and other respiratory irritants. Studies have even related wood burning fireplaces to health related conditions like asthma, birth defects and respiratory issues. In addition to this, wood burning fireplaces contribute significantly to air pollution and pose major risks of chimney fire to home owners as well.
Natural Gas Fireplaces
Converting to a more natural and less harmful alternative is what more homeowners appears to be doing these days. A gas conversion would no doubt put that old, unused fireplace to good use, in addition to revamping the heat inside the home. In case you are opting for a gas conversion, here are some simple and easy options to choose.
Vented Gas Logs
These resemble real wood burning fireplaces, although at a more budget friendly price. The vented gas logs can easily stimulate different species of wood, with the flames and embers emanating from them, as realistic and convincing as a real wood fire. You can even choose to control the ignition and the amount of flame with a remote control, thereby leaving little or no room for messes.
However, like their contemporaries, vented gas logs can cause the same health related problems. In fact, you would need to keep the chimney damper as well as window ajar while using them. In addition, old or defective vented logs can possibly circulate explosive gas in the air. At a price range of $100 – $1200, they may sound economical, but do little for your home, apart from enhancing the ambiance.
Vent Free Gas Logs
The main problem with vent free gas logs or vent less heating appliances is that they readily vent back vapors, irritants and other byproducts into the room from where they draw the air. Vent free gas logs create a blue flame when ignited and give off an unpleasant odor. The vapors emanating from the flames also cause condensation on the walls. In some cases, homeowners have also complained of the formation of a filmy residue, mold and even fungus on the walls.
If you are willing to brush aside these issues, you would come to know that vent free gas logs can easily offer an adequate and effective heating option for homes. At a price range of $100 – $1200, they are economical and easy to install. So make sure you consider all the pros and cons when opting for vent free gas logs.
Gas Fireplace Inserts
Many consider gas fireplace inserts to be the most sensible alternative to a wood burning fireplace. In addition to enhancing the overall visual appeal of the fireplace, gas fireplace inserts act as natural heaters that offer efficient indoor heating while keeping harmful byproducts and toxins out of the house. At a price range of $2000 – $4000, they are affordable and energy efficient. In addition, they do not cause outdoor pollution, and can be effectively controlled with a remote.
Retrofitted Contemporary Gas Inserts
When it comes to authentic fireplace ambiance, these inserts come quite close to wood burning fireplaces and vented gas logs. Their embers and flames resemble actual wood fires, and they do not need electricity to switch on. In addition to this, they do not cause much pollution, both indoors and outdoors. Hence, they would be the perfect choice for homes that are prone to frequent power cuts.
Today factors like health, safety, ambiance, efficiency and ecology spearhead the convenience, when it comes to fireplaces. Switching to gas flames can do a lot for your indoor air as well as the environment outside. So take it as a small green step to become environmentally friendly and opt for gas fireplace options.