How to Operate a Gas Fireplace

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Gas fireplaces, whether designed for beauty or heating, are factory built boxes enclosed by glass doors so you can see the fire. Your gas fireplace should be checked as frequently as a woodburning fireplace because even though gas generally burns clean, your chimney can still be obstructed by birds’ or other animals’ nests and become a fire hazard. The ease of owning a gas fireplace has appealed to many homeowners who want to quit splitting the wood and hauling it inside the home. Many gas fireplaces operate even when the electricity goes out, which can be a great relief in the presence of a winter storm.You also do
not have to worry about cleaning up ashes from the burned wood.

                             Both *Yellow and *Blue flame gas fireplace logs are available.

imgres-3*Blue flame gas logs are approved to be used without a ventilation system, whereas yellow flame gas logs must have a venting system. Blue flame logs are the cleanest and most efficient flames to have in your home.

 

*Yellow flame logs can produce soot and carbon, both of which can build up on your gas logs and in the chimney. There may be orange streaks in the flame; an indication of dust or other particles in the firebox.

 

imgres-2This is generally acceptable. If you have logs that are blackened by soot or carbon, try using  a product called ACS Gas Log Cleaner. It removes carbon and soot buildup on gas logs without harming or discoloring them.

<——- Can be purchased at  www.FireplaceAndChimneySupply.com

*Be sure when choosing a gas fireplace, that it is going to serve your needs. Although there are countless styles and shapes available, some are designed for décor and others for actual heating of the home. Modern gas fireplaces may even come equipped with remote control starters, allowing you to adjust the flame height, heat output, etc. with the touch of a button. Some units burn propane and others natural gas. Whether you choose an ultra-modern unit or a more contemporary piece, and no matter where it is installed and what type of gas it burns, you should always work with a professional as much as possible.

                 The two main types of gas fireplaces are vented and vent-free.

*Vented gas logs that are “vented” are able to take the place of wood in a traditional chimney. These are vented such that any dangerous gases like carbon monoxide will exit the home. However, merely converting from a wood burning aparatus to gas logs will not solve the problems of a deteriorated chimney. Any deterioration, damage, or buildup in the chimney must be treated the same with gas logs as would be with wood.

*Vent-free gas logs, despite their similarity to a real, wood burning fire, can be dangerous to the respiratory system. Since the products from this particular flame are not vented up and out of the home, the chance of carbon monoxide, a lethal gas, entering and building up inside the home are increased. Vent-free gas logs are also deemed not safe or up to code in two states due to the increase in likelihood that small children or elderly will develop respiratory problems.

Through technology and the modern world’s need for easy and comfort, new technologies in the realm of gas fireplaces are popping up left and right. Not only are there gas fireplaces but gas fired inserts have been designed to be installed inside a fireplace. Gas fireplaces can even be installed without an existing fireplace. Always remember to follow manufacturers installation methods and be sure that all work done measures up with your area’s codes. However, once a safe, up-to-code gas fireplace is working and functional, there is no limit to the joy and beauty it can add to your home.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Wood Burning Fireplaces – How to “stop cold air” from coming in fireplaces

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Although wood burning fireplaces are aesthetically pleasing, they can be very inefficient. With rising energy costs, a wood burning fireplace is a great alternative to save money on home heating costs. Although fireplaces radiate heat, they can also allow some of the heated air to be pulled back out of the home. If you have a metal flue and/or a metal damper, this can make this inefficiency even worse.  Here are a few things you can do to increase the efficiency of your fireplace and show you how to stop cold air from coming in fireplaces.

1. Use a top sealing damper

top sealing damper
A top sealing damper prevents cold air from coming down the flue

The purpose of a top sealing damper is to act like a storm door to keep your heated or conditioned air in the home. It is placed on the top of the chimney much like a cap but it is easier to install and comes with a rubber attachment piece to keep it air tight.

The cool or hot air outside the home will be kept out. When not burning the fireplace, this small investment will pay for itself and then some in a very short while through the money you’ll save in heating and cooling costs.

imgres-1LockTop sealing dampers can replace throat dampers. Throat dampers are installed just above the firebox. They do not create an airtight seal, and are made completely of metal. While they will prevent some draft, over time these dampers will warp or rust, making them less efficient. While top sealing dampers are preferred, either of these options are better than having no damper at all.

2. Install a fireback

fireback
Cast iron firebacks protect the firebox

Another inexpensive way to increase your fireplace’s efficiency is to install a fireback. A radiant fireback is a cast iron plate designed to protect the firebox from damage. Decorative designs also add to your home’s décor.

The fireback absorbs heat from the fire and radiates it back into the room. A fireback prevents heat from being absorbed by the liner of the flue and gives your fire more bang for your buck.

3. Fireplace heaters

Fireplace heaters are another option to increase the efficiency of your fireplace. These are closed circuit heaters that take air from the room, circulate it through a chamber heated by the fire, and then release it back into the room as warm air. Since it is closed circuit, no smoke will be pouring into the room.

4. Fireplace Glass Doorsz-door

Making an investment in fireplace glass doors for a chimney offers another level of safety for your home by protecting pets and children from the flames, as well as increasing the efficiency of your fireplace. Installing these doors yourself can help save on some of the cost of purchasing them. If you have an open, wood burning fireplace, it is wise to make an investment in a mesh screen to protect carpet and family members from the burning embers that are frequently shot out of the firebox. Some of the most modern doors are crafted beautifully and can really add character and charm to any living room. Since the fireplace is using less inside air from combustion with the doors closed, the doors increase your fireplace’s efficiency.

5. Grate heaters

Grate heaters are another great option to increase your fireplace’s efficiency and can be used in conjunction with glass doors. Hollow tubing from grate heaters get hot from the fire and a fan blows this heat into the room. Some are controlled by thermostats, others are manually controlled. This is a relatively inexpensive way to help heat your home.

If you plan on heating your home with a fireplace, these small investments can increase the efficiency of your investment and save you money. Look into a few of these options, you’ll be amazed at the savings you’ll find!

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb