Many people long for a simpler time, for hours spent with the family, happy just to be together. People long for a quieter time as well, time to sit and think and read, time to be. Somehow, for many people a fireplace represents all of those things and more. A fireplace evokes a feeling of home, family, security, and warmth. People imagine their family and friends gathered around a fireplace, smiling and laughing.
Despite this, most people just do not have the time or the patience to maintain a wood-burning fireplace. That involves chopping or buying wood, storing wood, and starting the fire. Long after the fire is just a distant memory, you still have the ash and soot to clean up. Most people just don’t have the time, patience, energy, or desire for all of that work. That’s where natural gas fireplaces come in.
Natural gas fireplace and wood-burning fireplace look the same from the outside. What you actually see from the outside is the fireplace mantel, not the fireplace itself. Wood-burning fireplace does not have a gas pipe running inside the fireplace, while natural gas fireplace has a natural gas pipe running inside the fireplace. Often it is under the fake logs or decorative crystals. Natural gas fireplaces are available in styles ranging from traditional to contemporary. They can be found in a wide variety of colors, such as cherry, mahogany, oak, pine, white, antique white, black, and designer colors. Some natural gas fireplaces are used primarily for decoration, although they do produce a small amount of heat. Others, though, can be used as a primary heat source.
Fireplaces are available as direct vent, which must be installed near a gas line and vent through the wall behind the fireplace. Direct vent fireplaces do not require a chimney. Natural vented fireplaces must also be installed near a gas line and they are vented through the roof. Ventless or vent free natural gas fireplaces can be installed most anywhere as they do not require venting. You must be careful in buying a ventless fireplace, though, because they are illegal in some areas and have specific rules in others. If you do decide to purchase a ventless natural gas fireplace, you must follow precautions to prevent dangerous gases circulating throughout the home.