A gas fireplace can provide unparalleled convenience and the pleasure of a warm fire on a cold day, but many people believe nothing compares to the ambiance created by burning wood. The good news for homeowners who have a gas-fueled fireplace but who would prefer a wood-burning fireplace is that converting from gas to wood fuel may be an option.
When is Fireplace Conversion from Gas to Wood Possible?
Not every type of gas fireplace can be converted to wood-burning. When a gas fireplace is built at the time of home construction, it is less likely that a conversion is possible. You will probably need to replace your fireplace completely since the chimney might be suitable only for gas fireplaces which makes unsafe to use with a wood-burning fireplace.
It is extremely dangerous for someone to simply shut off the gas supply and begin using a gas fireplace as a wood-burning unit. It won’t take long to determine that there’s a problem, however, because there will be a huge release of smoke into the home.
Venting systems, the key
An important thing to consider when switching your fireplace type is the venting system. It is much simpler to vent a gas fireplace as compared with a wood-burning fireplace.
The reason for the differences in venting requirements has to do with the type of combustion by products being released by the respective fires. Gas fireplaces release a small amount of by products, by comparison. There is also a great deal more creosote that results from wood fires than what results from burning gas.
Actually, when a wood-burning fireplace is converted to gas, the chimney can be damaged by the corrosive substances and acids caused by burning gas. In every circumstance, it’s essential that the chimney is evaluated to ensure that it’s the right fit for the appliance it’s connected to. Installing a stainless steel flue of the correct dimension is usually an adequate solution.
How Does Conversion Work?
Parts need to be ordered, in making a conversion from a gas to a wood-burning fireplace. Next, the gas logs are removed and the gas line is capped off or converted to a gas log lighter. If the flue is already in good shape for the conversion, the process may only cost up to $300 or as little as half that much.
The Importance of Annual Inspections
Scheduling annual inspections and maintenance is an important step toward your safety. Having your chimney and fireplace evaluated by a professional chimney technician annually is the best way to avoid hazardous fires. Chimney technicians keep a lookout for creosote, which is highly flammable. Experts can also evaluate whether or not damage has occurred to the flue, which always requires repair or replacement of the chimney lining.
If you like the idea of converting your fireplace, but wood does not fit with your lifestyle, an electric fireplace might just be what you need.