Fall and Winter are popular seasons to turn on the fireplace, but it’s important to understand your unique fireplace before you hit the on switch. Although there are various types of fireplaces, Canadians tend to use gas fireplaces because they are widely available across the country. Current gas fireplaces are built with energy efficiency and aesthetics in mind, but its important to know more about your gas fireplace than these basics. Gas fireplaces can use either natural gas or propane gas as the burning fuel, however, most people choose natural gas because it is cost effective and relatively easy to pipe to the home.
According to the Natural Resources Canada website, Canadians are choosing between three types of gas fireplaces: Gas Fireplace Inserts, Zero Clearance Gas Fireplaces, and Free-Standing Gas Fireplaces. We’re going to talk you through what you need to know about these gas fireplaces, including how they are installed and what maintenance they need.
Gas Fireplace Inserts
For older homes that have wood burning fireplaces, choosing a gas fireplace insert allows you to fill the existing space. With a gas fireplace insert, you don’t need to worry about soot as much as you would with a natural wood-burning fireplace. If you are getting a Gas Fireplace Insert installed this fall, don’t be alarmed if your installation expert says that they need to refit the existing chimney to fit in line with a vent. The vent that goes from the Gas Fireplace and connects to the chimney is important—after all, it cycles the gas safely out of your house and to the outdoors.
But what if your home doesn’t have a pre-existing fireplace? Then take a look at Zero-Clearance Gas Fireplaces!
Zero Clearance Gas Fireplaces
Zero-Clearance Gas Fireplaces can be installed in homes that do not have an existing fireplace set up. These fireplaces are made of a firebox—where there are simulated logs and a burner. Around the firebox is a shell and a vent that takes the gas and ventilates it out through a sidewall, which can be an outside wall of the home. Although it is called a Zero Clearance Gas Fireplace, you do need a professional to carefully measure and install the fireplace so that it is safe to use and meets regulations.
Zero Clearance Gas Fireplaces and Inserts are perfect for heating singular rooms, but in some households across Canada, there is need for extra heating throughout the home. That’s when we recommend Free-Standing Gas Fireplaces.
Free-Standing Gas Fireplaces
With a Free-Standing Gas fireplace, or a Direct-Vent Gas Stove as it is sometimes called, heat is emitted through all its sides. The gas is vented out through the back or near the top of the unit. Free-Standing Gas Fireplaces can emit more heat than Zero-Clearance Gas Fireplaces and Gas Fireplaces inserts because they are not closed in, which makes them a great choice for basements or large rooms.
Maintenance and Important Information About Gas Fireplaces
The maintenance for gas fireplaces is much less than it would be for a natural wood-burning gas fireplace. There significantly less soot that gathers from using these fireplaces, but you should still have a fireplace expert to come in once per year—before the season of Fireplaces and Hot Chocolate Drinking begins—to clean out the soot and to check that the gas burner is working.
Always trust a certified expert to install and maintain your fireplace. Experts know how to keep your home safe when it comes to the regulations and care of a fireplace and it will save you money in the long-term.
For more information on Fireplaces or to take a look at the Gas Fireplaces we offer for our clients, please don’t hesitate to contact an Applewood Air Expert today. We look forward to helping our clients this Fall and Winter with their Gas Fireplaces.