A very popular choice for fireplaces today is one that burns with gas logs. For starters, this type of fireplace is very convenient. They are easy to light, start an immediate fire, burn clean, are cost efficient, and depending on the type you buy, you can even light a fire from across the room with a remote control.
Many people that have a wood burning fireplace are not converting to a gas-burning fireplace and are finding they enjoy not cutting or storing wood. Fueled by propane or natural gas, you will find that you have two basic types from which to choose. The first is known as a blue flame and the second as a yellow flame.
With the blue flame option, the logs are designed to produce more heat. They are typically not as attractive as the yellow flame option but they do have a cleaner burn. Within this type, you can choose logs that are vent-free, which can sometimes be used in a fireplace with the damper closed or within an approved separate firebox.
For the yellow flame logs, you will have to have venting. This particular log type produces a more realistic looking flame, which is why it is so popular. In fact, it is so realistic that most people cannot tell the logs burning are artificial. Although the heat produced is less intense than the blue flame is, it is about the same as a normal wood burning fire of the same size. This type of gas log will generate both soot and carbon, which is then deposited within the walls of the chimney. Therefore, you would need to have the chimney cleaned each year just as you would with a wood burning fireplace.
Many new products have been developed over the years, one of them being gas inserts. These inserts are installed within the fireplace and are great in that they produce more heat. Additionally, these inserts look very similar to a regular wood insert. Another option is using a gas fireplace where there is no existing fireplace. This is great for adding ambience and warmth in a bedroom and built like a cabinet enclosure, this type of fireplace comes with a mantle, logs, and everything you need. Very easy to install, these fireplaces can be installed just about anywhere.
The most important thing to remember is that when adding gas logs, you are working with gas, which can be dangerous if you do not know anything about it. Therefore, you should always have a professional do the work. For one thing, the professional will be up-to-date with codes and know how to install the gas logs to ensure efficiency and safety.