Every homeowner is different. Some might prefer the smell and look of a wood-burning fireplace, while others like the convenience and cleanliness of a gas fireplace. If you’re considering converting your wood fireplace to gas, you should know a few things first.
If your existing wood-burning fireplace is tired, outdated, or needs repair, gas fireplace conversion could be a good idea. Here are several reasons you might want to consider this option:
Gas fireplaces are more efficient compared to wood-burning fireplaces. All the heat produced by a gas fireplace goes into your home. With a wood-burning fireplace, up to 75% of the heat produced escapes up the chimney.
The gas vs. wood fireplace heat output is also much higher with gas. You’ll get more heat per hour from your gas fireplace, usually between 30,000 and 50,000 BTUs. In comparison, wood fireplaces produce between 38,000 and 80,000 BTUs. Gas fireplaces are more efficient compared to wood-burning fireplaces. All the heat produced by a gas fireplace goes into your home. With a wood-burning fireplace, up to 75% of the heat produced escapes up the chimney.
Gas fireplaces are more efficient in producing even, consistent heat immediately felt in your home. And the convenience of turning on a gas fireplace with the flip of a switch makes it worth considering over a wood-burning option. Not only will you save money on heating bills, but you’ll also enjoy the warmth of a real fire without all the work that comes with it. Plus, they can be customized to fit your interior and exterior design style—without worrying about smoke or soot build-up in your home.
Gas fireplaces are easy to use. Just turn them on with a switch or push of a button. There’s no need to chop wood, carry it inside, and build a fire. And you don’t have to worry about ashes or soot.
Also, it can be difficult to keep a wood-burning fireplace going during the rainy season. You might not be able to find dry wood, or you might want to avoid going out in the rain to get it.
Another advantage of gas fireplaces is that they’re clean burning. This means there’s no smoke or ashes to deal with. Plus, they don’t produce creosote, which can build up in your chimney and cause fires. This also saves you time from chimney cleaning.
Gas fireplaces are also better for the environment. They produce less pollution than wood-burning fireplaces. Burning wood gives out particles that can contribute to air pollution and respiratory problems.
Gas fireplaces are much safer than wood-burning fireplaces. There is less risk of fires getting out of control, and there are no hot embers or sparks that could potentially start a house fire.
Converting your fireplace from wood-burning to gas could also increase the value of your home. If you’re considering selling in the future, a gas fireplace might be a selling point for potential buyers.
When deciding which type of fireplace is the best for your home, consider all the pros and cons. Here are a few of the cheapest ways to keep your home warm:
How much does it cost to install a gas fireplace? If you have an existing wood fireplace and want to convert, the cost may vary depending on some factors, including the fireplace you have and whether you need to install a gas line.
The average cost is up to $3,000, but you can expect to pay between $500 and $5,500 for converting a wood fireplace to gas. This may change based on the kind of gas fireplace you choose. For example, selecting a gas fireplace insert will be less expensive than a new stand-alone gas fireplace. Similarly, vented gas logs will be less costly to install than a vent-free gas fireplace.
You must also factor in the cost of a gas line installation if you don’t already have one. This will vary on the distance of the nearest natural gas line and whether any excavation is required.
You can see many homeowners wonder about a gas vs. wood fireplace. But the truth is this depends on your circumstances, such as your budget, the condition of your existing fireplace, and your reasons for wanting to convert.
If you’re seeking a more efficient way to heat your home or want convenience, it might be worth converting to a new gas fireplace. However, it might not be worth the investment if you’re happy with your wood-burning fireplace and are okay with the hassle of building a fire.
If you’ve decided to convert your wood-burning fireplace to gas, the first step is to choose a type of gas fireplace. Once you’ve done that, converting will vary depending on your fireplace type.
Masonry fireplaces are made of brick, stone, or mortar. If you have a masonry fireplace, you’ll need to hire a professional to convert it to gas. This is because masonry fireplaces require special venting and are more difficult to modify.
Here’s a typical process for converting a masonry fireplace to gas:
Prefabricated fireplaces are also known as factory-built or zero-clearance fireplaces. They’re made of metal and are easier to modify than masonry fireplaces. If you have a prefabricated fireplace, you can convert it to gas yourself. However, it’s essential to check with the manufacturer first to see if it’s possible.
If you’re unsure whether your fireplace is masonry or prefabricated, you can usually tell by looking at the outside of the chimney. Masonry fireplaces will have a brick or stone chimney, while prefabricated fireplaces will have a metal chimney.
Here’s a step-by-step guide you can use:
If unsure or not confident in your ability to convert the fireplace, consider hiring a professional.
Gas fireplaces are popular for many homeowners because they’re efficient and convenient. If you have a wood-burning fireplace and plan to convert your fireplace to gas, there are a few things you need to consider. The conversion cost, the type of fireplace you have, and your reasons for wanting to convert are all important factors to consider.