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Before You Buy a Gas Log Fireplace

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Gas logs are growing in popularity every year, so manufacturers have geared-up to offer us a wide selection of appliances. You'll find gas logs, freestanding gas stoves, and contained fireplace units that are mounted to a wall. But did you know that the residue produced by gas logs is not always vented to the outside? It's important to understand the differences between vented and vent-free units before you buy a gas log fireplace.

Vented Gas Logs

Vented gas logs burn with a yellowish flame that closely resembles the flame in a woodburning fireplace. You can choose a unit that burns propane or logs that burn natural gas. There are different configuration options for the vent that's required to remove the gases that the logs produce during burning. Get the facts about vented gas logs before you decide they're the best choice for your home.

Vent-Free Gas Logs

The blue flame of a vent-free gas fireplace is designed to provide nearly complete fuel combustion, resulting in less output of carbon monoxide and soot than vented logs. There are advantages and disadvantages to vent-free logs, and they are not allowed in some areas. Get the pros and cons before you buy.

If You'd Rather Go With Wood

Some people would rather hear the crackling of wood burning in the fireplace--and it's hard to beat the subtle aroma produced by a natural fire. You should hire a professional chimney sweep to inspect and clean your fireplace before it's used each year, but don't assume that's the only step you must take to burn safely during the winter season. There are many things you can and should do to maintain your fireplace throughout the year.
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