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Sara Stover

Living a story worth telling. Shining a light on stories worth sharing.


Converting to Gas for Energy-Efficient Ambiance

A traditional wood-burning fireplace may look grand in the living room, especially when it’s glowing with a cozy fire. But beyond the historical charm, traditional fireplaces can be inefficient and impractical.

Converting an old, inefficient fireplace to gas can be a smart choice, since an insert can turn a hearth into a major source of household heat during the colder months. And many of the inserts on the market capture the authentic look of a traditional fireplace, while featuring convenient options like a remote to easily turn the fireplace on and off.

Last year, Matchless Stove & Chimney converted over 200 fireplaces from wood burning to gas burning. And this trend that doesn’t show signs of fading any time soon. So how do you know if converting to a wood burning fireplace is right for you?

Why convert from wood? Traditional wood-burning fireplaces don’t do much to heat a room, tending instead to pull warm air from inside the home and send it up the chimney. Older wood-burning fireplaces can be responsible for a certain amount of air pollution, which is why there are restrictions on wood burning in some areas. Wood-burning fireplaces can also cause home fires, due to a buildup of creosote, the substance left behind on the chimney walls after wood is burned.


Why choose a gas fireplace insert? Gas fireplace inserts function as heaters, giving off significantly more warmth than the wood-burning fireplaces they replace. A gas fireplace insert is essentially a complete fireplace installed within the firebox of the existing wood-burning fireplace. It is typically much more energy efficient, since the glass doors are always shut and the fireplace exhausts to the outdoors. And gas inserts are a healthier choice than traditional wood-burning fireplaces, which do not have airtight doors. If someone in your house has asthma, allergies or other respiratory issues, a gas insert will prevent exposure to possible irritants, while older wood burning fireplaces will not.

What are my choices?                                                                                                     

Homeowners can choose a gas insert with adjustable flames that allow you to control the amount of warmth it gives off. Many gas fireplace inserts feature convenient options like a remote to easily turn the fireplace on and off.

And if you prefer to convert to gas, but are concerned about keeping the historical integrity of your fireplace, there are many traditional models available! Gas inserts like the President from Valor look like a timeless, Victorian coal-burning fireplace, and are popular with those who own brownstones downtown, and want to preserve the vintage look of their hearth!
A gas fireplace insert can provide ambiance and efficient warmth, without the inefficiency, or the environmental concerns associated with wood burning. For homeowners considering converting to gas, Matchless offers the largest selection of gas fireplace inserts in the Capital Region, providing options to fit any budget or décor.  And Matchless has years of experience doing historic fireplace restorations in the Capital Area, including two at the Governor’s Mansion.

With amazing realism and endless design options, converting existing wood burning fireplaces to gas promises to remain popular among homeowners!

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For more information on converting from wood burning to gas burning, contact us at 518.463.2085, or visit Matchless Stove & Chimney is a specialty hearth retailer providing design, installation and maintenance services for residents of New York’s Capital District.  It has been family owned and operated for over 30 years, and services fireplaces, stoves and chimneys for the Capital Area and beyond.

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