Do You Need a Chimney for a Gas Fireplace?
Do you need a chimney for a gas fireplace? Traditional wood fireplaces are common in many older Indianapolis homes, but gas fireplaces are becoming more and more common. Homeowners around the Indianapolis area are adding or renovating fireplaces and considering gas options.
Gas fireplaces are quick and easy to operate, do not require the hassle of firewood, and have minimal maintenance.
But there is still one big question many people have about gas fireplaces.
Do you need a chimney for a gas fireplace?
Depending on the type of gas fireplace you have, you may still need a chimney.
Today we’ll explain everything you need to know about gas fireplaces and chimneys.
Gas vs Wood Fireplace
First, it’s important to understand the difference between a gas and a wood fireplace. When it comes to factory-made units, gas and wood fireplaces come in at similar prices. Installation for pre-made units is also pretty similar as well. The difference between gas and wood fireplaces lies in the long-term performance and venting options.
Gas fireplaces provide immediate ignition and control over the heat output. You can quickly and easily light a gas fireplace, and turn the heat up or down. On the other hand, a wood fireplace requires time to light the wood and it takes a while to get heat from the wood combustion.
Some modern gas fireplaces even include comfort control systems that monitor the temperature of the room and adjust the burner up or down to get the room to the desired temperature.
Environmentally, gas appliances produce very few by-products when compared to wood. So given that, do they need a chimney?
Types of Gas Fireplaces
A “gas fireplace” can mean a few different things. For example, you could have a gas log set installed into a fireplace. Here are the options for gas fireplaces:
- Log sets approved for masonry fireplaces
- Log sets installed in an approved existing factory-built wood-burning fireplace
- As inserts lined through a factory-built or approved masonry system
- Ventless gas fireplace cabinets or gas stove
- Vented gas fireplaces or stoves
Ventilation Options for Gas Fireplaces
Gas fireplaces actually include several different venting options. The three venting options for gas fireplaces are:
- Natural Vent (B Vent): This type of ventilation uses an existing masonry chimney or factory-built metal chimney. The chimney exhausts the by-products outside via a single pipe or flexible liner within the chimney.
- Direct-Vent: Direct-Vent fireplaces draw outdoor air for combustion, and then exhaust the spent air outside via a co-linear venting system. This process prevents the heat loss that conventional chimneys have. Direct vents can be vented through the roof or out the side/back of a house, but they must have a sealed glass door within the unit.
- Vent-Free. Vent-free gas fireplaces are becoming more common. These fireplaces use catalytic converter technology, which does not require a chimney or venting. This option is growing in popularity, but it is not allowed in all communities.
The venting process for your gas fireplace depends on the type of fireplace you get. While options without a chimney are becoming more popular, many gas fireplaces still have chimneys. This is especially true if you are converting an existing wood-burning fireplace to a gas fireplace. In many cases, gas fireplaces will still need a chimney.
Gas Fireplace Maintenance
Before getting a gas fireplace, it’s important to understand your options and the maintenance each requires. The best way to determine which gas fireplace is right for you is to consult a fireplace professional.
One common misconception about gas fireplaces, even ones with chimneys, is that they do not need maintenance. While you won’t have to deal with ashes and wood, gas fireplaces are not maintenance-free! You still need an annual chimney sweep and inspection to ensure that your fireplace is in good working condition.
The team at your local Chimney & Masonry Outfitters is here to help with all of your fireplace needs. Our experienced team provides quality chimney sweep and inspection services to fully clean your appliance. We’ll be able to catch any potential issues before they become big expensive problems. We are also happy to help you find the best gas fireplace option for you.
Our knowledgeable team is here to answer any questions you may have and will help you get the fireplace of your dreams. No matter what your fireplace needs are, we can help! Whether you need fireplace design, installation, repair, or replacement, you can trust our experts to help. To learn more about gas fireplaces or request fireplace services, contact CMO today at 1-317-500-1250 or OFFICE@CMOUTFITTERS.COM.