Fireplaces are one of the most popular home amenities, and among fireplaces, homeowners nearly universally prefer gas fireplaces. That’s because gas fireplaces offer convenience. They light with the press of a button and don’t require the work of stacking and hauling logs or lighting and tending a fire. If you have been thinking about installing a gas fireplace in your home, you likely have some questions.

How efficient are gas fireplaces?

When it comes to fireplace efficiency, gas fireplaces reign supreme. Gas fireplaces range in efficiency from 70 to 99 percent, depending on the model. That clearly beats the 10 to 30 percent efficiency that comes with traditional wood-burning fireplaces. Vent-free gas fireplaces are most efficient because, without a chimney, all of the heat from the fire is returned to the home.

Can you heat your home with a gas fireplace?

The amount of heat your gas fireplace produces will depend on the model, and its ability to heat your home will depend on the size and layout of your home. At the very least, gas fireplaces make an excellent source of supplemental heat. They can help concentrate heat in the rooms you spend the majority of your time in, while allowing you to turn down the thermostat for the rest of your home.

Can you burn wood in a gas fireplace?

No, you should not burn wood in a gas fireplace. Generally, you should never burn any material in a fireplace that isn’t the fireplace’s intended fuel. If you prefer a wood-burning fireplace with the convenience of gas, you can opt for a gas fire starting, which offers a gas flame to help ignite your wood-burning fireplace.

Will a gas fireplace work without electricity?

If your gas fireplace has a standing pilot light, it will continue to burn without electricity. That means that your gas fireplace can be used to heat your home during a power outage, providing a valuable source of heat when you furnace might not be working.

Do gas fireplaces smell?

Gas fireplaces do produce a slight odor. If you have a vented gas fireplace, the majority of that smell will travel up the chimney and out of your home. If you have a vent-free gas fireplace, the smell will remain in your home. The smell is harmless, but it will be exacerbated if your fireplace is dusty.

Who can service a gas fireplace?

Gas fireplaces require much less maintenance than their wood-burning counterparts, but that’s not to say that they don’t require professional care from time to time. Gas fireplaces should be cleaned and inspected at least once per year by a certified chimney sweep. The No. 1 reason gas fireplaces malfunction are because the working components of the gas fireplace become clogged with dust or debris from the ceramic logs. An annual cleaning and inspection prevents this and ensures that all components of your fireplace are in good working order.

If you’re ready to learn more about installing a gas fireplace in your home, stop by the Tri-County Hearth & Patio showroom today! You can see some gas fireplaces in action and have your questions answered by our fireplace experts. If your gas fireplace requires cleaning or servicing, call Tri-County’s sister company, Magic Broom.