A gas fireplace insert is a great way to efficiently heat a room. It allows people to have the cozy look and feel of a wood burning fireplace, without all of the work. There is no need to chop wood, collect kindling, hoard newspaper, clean chimneys or remove piles of ashes. With a simple twist of a nob, users can instantly create a charming fire.
Not only are gas fireplace inserts extremely convenient, they are amazingly efficient. On average, they are said to have 75 to 85 percent energy efficiency. Not to shabby, considering a wood burning fire without an insert typically only produces 5 to 10 percent. Gas fireplace inserts are also estimated to generate 25,000 to 40,000 BTU. That can effortlessly heat a room without requiring any additional heat source.
Unlike its electric insert counterpart, gas fireplace inserts require professional installation. The gas insert needs to be connected to a gas line. It uses two tubes to direct the airflow. One tube is used to provide fresh air. The other tube is used to as an exhaust.
Gas inserts have a closed combustion system. The combustion system is generated by trapping fresh air and heat. Blowers then send hot air out of the insert through vents. Inserts with blowers need to be plugged into an outlet to work. The intensification of heat and perpetuation of the heat source is what makes gas fireplace inserts so effective and efficient.
To give the fireplace an “authentic” appearance, gas inserts typically have ceramic logs, which go on top of the gas burner. The gas flame climbs through the ceramic logs making them appear to be burning like wooden logs. Some inserts use glass or crystal rocks to give the illusion of burning ice. Neither the ceramic logs nor the rocks are actually on fire. The flames are simply burning around them. This means that the logs never need to be replaced.
As with anything that uses gas as an energy source, it is important to be sure the gas insert does not have any leaks. This is often difficult to identify since the gas is cleanly burned. The best way to be sure if there is a gas leak is to use a carbon monoxide detector. These relatively small devices plug into any standard outlet and beep when a gas leak is detected (much like a smoke alarm does when it detects smoke).
On average, gas fireplace inserts cost between $1,250 and $3,000. The drastic difference is based on the insert model and its subsequent features. Gas inserts with expensive crystal rocks or thermostat controls tend to be much more expensive than those with just a glass frame and open glass frame. The efficiency and energy output can also have a significant effect on the insert price.