Whether you have lived in your home for years or are building a new one, deciding between a solid fuel burning appliance versus a gas burning appliance can be a difficult decision. I view gas logs as having four major pros, beauty, convenience, minimal maintenance, and fuel price security. These four factors make installing gas logs versus installing a wood burning appliance seem pretty appealing.

Beauty

Gas logs have two major kinds, vented and vent-free. I do not recommend the installation of vent-free gas logs due to possible health risks which are currently being researched. Vent-free gas logs “completely” combust the natural gas fuel, causing a hotter flame which burns blue. Vented gas logs offer all the beauty of a wood burning fireplace with a natural looking, yellow or orange flame. Gas logs should not be ruled out on the basis of looks because new gas log sets are available to look just like logs actually burning in the fireplace, without the hassle.

Convenience

Wood-burning appliances require much work. In order to burn a fire in a wood burning fireplace or stove, one must acquire wood, either by purchasing it from a supplier or cutting it themselves, allow it to season, and actually build the fire, which most folks who are new to building fires have difficulty with. Gas log sets do not come with the risk of possible smoking problems, and odor is also not an issue. Gas log sets offer the convenience of a remote starter, which control not only whether the fire is burning or not, but the

Vented Gas Logs
Vented gas logs, like this set, give off a beautiful, natural glow.

temperature of the room in some cases. Gas logs eliminate the hassle of being warm while still offering beauty and a glow in the room.

Minimal Maintenance

While gas log sets should be inspected yearly, as well as the flue system through which they vent, gas log sets still involve less maintenance than a wood-burning fireplace. With a wood-burning fireplace, the integrity of not only the flue system but also the firebox has a chance of being an issue. A chimney sweep will inspect the flue system but unless debris is brought in by a critter or a storm or the logs are not burning properly, a sweep should not need to be conducted, saving you money and time.

Fuel Price Security

As the price of solid fuels such as wood and coal increases, natural gas prices have stayed stable. Natural gas is in relative abundance to solid-fuels, and gas log sets that do not need electricity to start will work even when the power is out, keeping you warm when you need it most.

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.

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Clay Lamb

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