Answers to 6 Common Questions About Gas Logs

Written by Alpine Gas Fireplaces on . Posted in Information

You know that a roaring fire is exactly what’s missing from your home’s main living area. Unfortunately, you still haven’t decided which fireplace type best suits your needs. You may have your options narrowed down, but you still have questions about use, maintenance, and efficiency.

In a previous blog entitled “Which Type of Fireplace Is Right for You?,” we gave you the basic advantages and disadvantages of your four most common options.

In this blog, we’ll address six of the most common questions about perhaps the most popular option: gas log fireplaces.

  1. Are Gas Logs Smart Investments?

Whether you intend to stay in your home for the foreseeable future or fix it up to sell, installing a gas log fireplace is a smart investment. Gas logs represent one of the most cost-effective fireplace options available to homeowners, as well as the option with the highest return on investment.

Basic gas log systems start between $300 and $500 dollars. With proper maintenance and usage, one of these units can last for the lifetime of the house, though the false embers and logs may need eventual replacing.

If you end up selling your house, you can see up to 90% return on investment for your gas log fireplace.

  1. How Do You “Start” a Gas Log?

Gas log systems have a range of ignition types. Many, like traditional fireplaces, require a match or lighter. To light these systems, you simply place the flame beneath the faux logs and turn on the gas.

However, homeowners can also install remote systems or switch systems to automatically light the fireplace. These ignition types are ideal for homeowners with young children in the household as well as homeowners who find bending or kneeling uncomfortable.

  1. What Are Gas Logs Made From?

Most gas logs consist of durable, flame-resistant ceramic or refractable cement. Today’s gas logs undergo molding and painting to ensure they look just like the wood used in traditional fireplaces. And, like natural wood, gas logs can have a range of patterns.

Manufacturers create knots, grain, and bark patterns to trick the eye into seeing real wood in a gas fireplace. Additionally, manufacturers may offer different wood types to fit the feeling of your home. Common wood looks include:

  • Birch
  • Driftwood
  • Oak
  • Walnut

Most gas log units also include realistic embers that line the bottom of the fireplace, beneath the gas logs. False embers typically consist of rockwool, a fire-resistant substance which naturally reflects light and directs heat.

  1. What Kind of Gas Do Logs Use?

Typically, gas logs use either natural gas or liquid propane. If you already use one of these two gases for cooking or heating in your home, you’ll likely use the same gas for your fireplace as well.

If you must install a new gas line to power your fireplace, you often can choose between the two. Your decision will most likely depend on the following:

  • Availability. Propane requires a dedicated outdoor tank, as well as a supplier to refill the tank when needed. Natural gas, on the other hand, must reach your fireplace by way of a gas line. Talk to local contractors to determine gas availability for your home.
  • Current systems. Natural gas taps into the same system as your stove or other appliances. This feature can make installation simpler if you already have gas appliances. However, you cannot use natural gas independently of the system, while you can use propane independently.
  • Unit. Some fireplace models only use one type of gas or the other. You’ll want to double check which type of gas your unit needs before making a purchase.

If you have a preference for a gas power source, talk to a fireplace contractor about your options.

  1. What Maintenance Do Gas Logs Need?

Gas logs require very little maintenance to continue running as they should. Depending on your home and where you live, you may need to clean dirt and other residue off of the inside of your fireplace unit, including the pilot light, every six months or so.

Additionally, experts recommend that you have a gas fireplace serviced once a year. These yearly inspections ensure that any electrical or gas problems are taken care of quickly and safely.

Think a gas log setup suits the needs of your home and family? Contact our fireplace contractors. A professional supplier can help you choose the right system, from the fuel type to the log color. Then, an expert installer will help prepare a space in your home for the unit and install your new fireplace.

Gas logs represent one of the best options for homeowners. Use the information contained in this blog to decide if a gas log system is right for you. If you have any other questions, address them with your fireplace contractor.

For more information on fireplace types, safety, maintenance, and fun, visit our blog.

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